• "Children Sitting with Chickens," 1925. Courtesy of the Hobson Library via Big Sky Country Digital Network.

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    Children Sitting with Chickens
    • Date
    • 1925
    • Creator
    • Unknown.
    • Description
    • The caption under this photo reads 'Ruth and Jamie on Ida's wood pile.
    • Rights
    • Https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/.
    • Partner
    • Big Sky Country Digital Network
    • Contributing Institution
    • Hobson Library

  • Children at a herring run in Taunton, Massachusetts, 1928. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Animals: Herring run, Taunton
    • Date
    • 1928
    • Creator
    • Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967
    • Description
    • Title and date from information provided by Leslie Jones or the Boston Public Library on the negative or negative sleeve.
    • Rights
    • Copyright (c) Leslie Jones. All rights reserved.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

  • "Child with Dog," 1925. Courtesy of the Hobson Library via Big Sky Country Digital Network.

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    Child with Dog
    • Date
    • 1925
    • Creator
    • Unknown.
    • Description
    • This is a photo of Jamie Stevenson sitting on the porch with a large puppy. His sister Hester is peeping around the corner.
    • Rights
    • Https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/.
    • Partner
    • Big Sky Country Digital Network
    • Contributing Institution
    • Hobson Library

  • “Photograph of young women dressed as peach blossoms at the Peach Festival, Fort Valley, Peach County, Georgia, 1924.” Courtesy of the Peach Public Library via Digital Library of Georgia.

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    Photograph of Young Women Dressed as Peach Blossoms at Peach Festival, Fort Valley, Peach County, Georgia, 1924

Rural Children: Life Outdoors

To many adults in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, rural and farm communities were the ideal setting for a happy and healthy childhood. Progressives in particular held the view that fresh air, natural settings, and open spaces for play and adventure fostered physical and intellectual development.

Children raised on farms spent most of their time outdoors and enjoyed leisure activities in nature: trapping, hunting, fishing, swimming, and sledding. Progressives were concerned, however, that between field work and chores, farm children had little time for play. Reformers felt that their isolation from other children created an “emptiness of life,” according to a report from the 1930 White House Conference on Child Health and Protection. As Progressives increasingly embraced the idea of organized and supervised play, no one, they felt, was more in need of this than the farm child.