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Visual Evidence

Photo 5: Shields-Ethridge Farm Commissary Today

[Photo 5] Shields-Ethridge Farm Commissary Today with link to larger version of map.

(Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm Foundation)

If you visit the Shields-Ethridge Farm today, you will step inside the commissary where sharecroppers could purchase supplies on credit. When the crop came in and was sold, Mr. Ira subtracted whatever the sharecropper had bought during the year from the amount the sharecropper was paid for his crop. Inside the commissary today, you’ll find coal-oil lanterns, nails, sacks of fertilizer, tack for mules, fabric for clothes, tobacco, and tools.

Questions for Photo 5

1.
What were the most important supplies purchased at the commissary by sharecroppers? (Refer back to Reading 1, if necessary.)

2.
When tractors replaced mules at the Farm, what changes do you think the commissary would have had to make?

3. While sharecroppers were not required to shop at the commissary, they were allowed to buy on credit there. What difference do you think commissary credit made for sharecropper families and for Mr. Ira?

4. Compare the inside of the commissary with the store(s) where you usually shop. In which do you think it would be easier to find what you need? Why?

Click for a larger version of the Photo 5.

 

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National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.