Selling the Farm: 12 Vintage Pictures of Abandoned Farms

Farming has never been easy, but never more so than in the hard years of the Great Depression. Years of drought combined with overworked land saw thousands upon thousands of farmers simply left their farms behind, seeking a better life elsewhere.

We took a trip through the photo archives of the Library of Congress to find some the most forlorn abandoned farms from that time period.


Abandoned farm, Nebraska. c. 1938
Abandoned farm, Ottawa County, Kansas. c. 1938
Old buggy in a field of daisies near Vian, Oklahoma, on abandoned farm. c. 1939
Abandoned tenant house. Hall County, Texas. c. 1937
Washington, Klickitat County, near Goldendale. Wheat country, abandoned farm in foreground, occupied farm beyond. Heard in local filling station: “Well, heck, the large farmers are buying out the small farmers and taking over the country. The farmers have to do it in dry land farming to build their land up to where it was. The little fellows are off to the four winds.”c. 1939

An abandoned farm in the central Oregon development area. Jefferson County, Oregon. c. 1936
Farm implements on an abandoned farm in the Central Oregon. c. 1936
Abandoned farm in the Oregon drought area. c. 1936
Abandoned house of small farmer. Southwest Oklahoma. c. 1937
Carter County, Oklahoma. Abandoned land, exhausted soil. c. 1937
Abandoned farm. West Virginia. c. 1938
Abandoned farm buildings near New Lisbon, Wisconsin. c. 1937

Selling the Farm: 12 Vintage Pictures of Abandoned Farms