An antique black and white photograph of a mom with her kids on the porch.

Early 1900s Photographs from California’s Central Valley

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Black and White Photographs from California’s Central Valley

While I typically feel drawn to flip through boxes of black and white images from bygone eras, I do not often purchase pictures. They really have to grab me in order to leave the flea market in my bag; I try to buy stories, not paper. Recently, while perusing a Central Valley flea market, I found a box of antique photographs. Tucked inside the box was a paper postcard book. A quick flip through the images revealed small, square photos of a Central Valley family from the early 1900s. Being a lover of California stories, I immediately fell in love with the images of the Wild West. Gladly, I gave the seller $5 for the right to take the stories home with me!

The clothing worn by the women appears to be from the end of the Victorian Era and the beginning of the 1900s. This guess also coincides with the sales of the first Kodak Brownie personal cameras, which were released to the public in 1900. I have come across many photographs taken by the professional photographers of this era, but these pictures are special in that they provide a glimpse at the personal lives of people who appear to be early California landowners. The amateur photographer snapped pictures of a family, an almond orchard, a horse, and a beautiful Wild West bride!

An antique booklet of black and white photographs from the early 1900s.
An antique black and white picture of a family of settlers in the Wild West.
A family photograph in the flat land of California’s Central Valley
Antique black and white photograph of lumber floating down a California river.
Lumber floating down the river to its final destination
An antique black and white picture of a family of settlers in a Central Valley almond orchard.
The family posing in front of a Central Valley almond orchard
An antique black and white photo of a big horse.
A horse of the Wild West!
An antique black and white picture of a family of settlers in the Wild West.
The family posing with a beautiful farmhouse in the background
An antique black and white photograph of a beautiful bride in her wedding dress in the Wild West.
A beautiful bride of the Wild West!
Antique black and white photograph of a waterfall in California's Wild West.
A California waterfall
An antique black and white picture of a family of settlers in the Wild West.
A mama on the porch with her kids

The Stories in Antique Photographs

As a lover of California and all things vintage, I long to know the stories behind these photographs and this family. Who were these people? Did they own the almond orchard? Did they use the lumber floating down the river to build the beautiful farmhouse? How did the bride feel about posing for a picture in a work yard? Was that horse really as large as it looks in the picture?! And, who was the home photographer who so reveled in the new art form?

Do you see clues in the pictures that help to answer my questions? Leave me a comment below to tell me about it!

Explore Faedra for more stories about California!

♥ Note: All photos are the property of Faedra.

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