[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]. photographers The Parker Studio, Richardson and Company Wigan.
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]
[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]

[Photograph album of the Wigrich Ranche, Independence, Oregon.]

Salem, Oregon: The Parker Studio, [ca. 1910]. Oblong 4to (8” x 12”) album, black leather covers. 62 silver prints, 4.75” x 6.75”, mounted on 33 brown leaves.

A fascinating promotional photo album comprising sixty images of the world’s largest hops farm, documenting the fields, facilities, processes, and people involved in the operation.

Located in Buena Vista, Oregon, Wigrich Ranch was part of an area that was known as the “Hop Center of the World” from around 1900 to 1940. At the beginning of the 20th century, Oregon became the leading hop producer in America—Oregon’s Willamette Valley providing millions of pounds of hops to brewers around the globe. In the 1920s, Wigrich Ranch constituted the largest hop yard in the world owned by a single company, the London-based merchants Wigan, Richardson and Company.

The album begins with an image of Major W. Lewis Rose, manager of the Ranch, and candid portraits of Rose with his wife and daughter in front of his residence (the “Wigrich House”). Other subjects documented in the album include a man “testing the hops after drying”; large drying kilns; storage sheds; the office of the yard boss; the ranch bakery, restaurant, grocery store, market, and blacksmith shop (many of these images enlivened by the presence of workers); a dance hall; a newly-planted orchard; water-towers; plants damaged by windstorms (“Vine Down”); a pile of baskets used for harvesting; bales of hops en route to warehouse storage; the loading of bales on a train at the Wigrich railroad stop; a load of 136 sacks of harvested hops in canvas on a horse-drawn wagon (“Big Load of the Season”); a group of horses used on the farm; “10,000 boxes of dry hops in one pile”; the removal of tree stumps with explosives; livestock used on the ranch (Jersey and Durham cows, and Poland Chinese and Duroc Jersey boars), and more. Interior shots include a furnace room with a drying kiln; a tram car loaded with hops entering a kiln; men examining the hops harvest; hops stored in a warehouse, and men preparing bread in the bakery to feed the pickers. The Willamette River, at the boundary of the ranch, appears in several images.

Photos of worker life include group-portraits of laborers harvesting hops or transporting them to the warehouse; men down in a baling pit; a view of a tent camp and grounds; workers waiting for mail delivery at the post office in the grocery store, and workers leaving the ranch after harvest to go home via train or automobile. One image shows a group of Armenian laborers of the Arslanien Brothers Contracting Co. “training” newly-established vines in a field. A series of photos entitled “Twelve Views of the Picker,” shows seasonal workers divided into twelve groups, many wearing large hats, holding hops plants, pets, bales, etc. Some men are seen perching on wire fencing (upon which plants are trained). The presence of numerous women and children in the images indicates that many of these seasonal workers brought their families along. Numerous shots show children apparently engaged in child labor. An image of scores of dressed-up workers at the dance hall offers a clue as to how the laborers spent some of their free time.

On the whole, this carefully composed album gives the impression of a well organized and highly productive operation.

OCLC records a single copy of a nearly identical album with sixty photos at Yale.

A marvelous photographic document of an important Oregon industry.

REFERENCES: Kopp, Peter A. Hop Center of the World at universitypressscholarship.com; Hop Crew at Wigrich Hop Ranch at digital.osl.state.or.us.

CONDITION: Photos overall very good, a small puncture to the margins of the first eleven boards, occasional minor discoloration along photo edges; one small puncture to the image of Major W. Lewis Rose.

Item #6505

On Hold

Price: $4,500.00