Photograph of a “Hooverville,” 1936

A primary source by the Farm Security Administration

Hooverville in Portland, Oregon, photograph by Arthur Rothstein, July 1936. (Lib“Hoovervilles” were temporary communities that America’s homeless created to provide shelter for themselves and their families during the Great Depression. They were so named as an insult to President Herbert Hoover, who seemed to be hardened to the plight of Americans during the Depression.

This photograph of a Hooverville in Portland, Oregon, was taken by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration in 1936.




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Desperation of those caught in The Great Depression is evident in this photograph. Those unable to retain their properties were foreclosed upon and sought shelter with others in encampments using whatever materials were available to be had. Tires in the photograph are reminders of the many vehicles that were converted to Hoovercarts that ran on oats rather than gasoline

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