Rare! 1938 film of Lake Dick, Arkansas with photographs
As a result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s interest in assisting the rural poor during the 1930’s Depression, the Resettlement Administration was established.
Lake Dick was one of these Resettlement projects near Althimer, Arkansas. It was part of the governments efforts to help sharecroppers establish their own farms. The Resettlement Administration purchased 3,453 acres, and within the next two years built 80 houses, six community buildings, and several farm support structures for a cooperative farm. The Farm Security Administration selected 80 white farm families who were tenant farmers or sharecroppers from 29 counties in Arkansas to take part in the cooperative.
All farmers were to have their own houses and a small plot of land for vegetables with the remaining acreage was to be farmed jointly. This way the entire community would benefit from large-scale farming, and still enable each family to have cash income by sharing in the profits. In addition to farming cash crops, they had a livestock operation, and timbering.
Cooperative canning plant at Lake Dick Resettlement Project, near Altheimer, Arkansas June 1936 by photographer Carl Mydan
Community sweet potato plant projects at Lake Dick resettlement project near Althimer, Arkansas, showing hot beds with plants ready for transplanting. There are enough plants here for fifty acres and one hundred families. June 1936 by photographer Carl Mydan
Watermelon plant being watered by punctured can placed nearby. At Lake Dick resettlement project near Althimer, Arkansas. This prevents the plant from burning June 1936 by photographer Carl Mydan
Rehabilitation client at Lake Dick Project near Altheimer, Arkansas June 1936 by photographer Carl Mydan
Typical Lake Dick farm homes taken by Photographer Lee Russell in September & October 1938
Farm wife washing clothes, Lake Dick Project, Arkansas by Photographer Lee Russell September 1938
Notice the MayTag brand name
Neat Kitchen in farm home, Lake Dick Project, Arkansas by Photographer Lee Russell September 1938
Simple Lake Dick Project, Living room in project home, by Photographer Lee Russell September 1938
Lake Dick Farmer in home, Lake Dick Project, Arkansas , by Photographer Lee Russell September 1938
Child in bed in farm home, Lake Dick Project, Arkansas, by Photographer Lee Russell September 1938
Bathroom in farmer’s home, Lake Dick Project, Arkansas, by Photographer Lee Russell September 1938
Canned goods in project home, Lake Dick, Arkansas, Arkansas, by Photographer Lee Russell September 1938
Kitchen in farm home, Lake Dick Project, Arkansas by Photographer Lee Russell September 1938
Bedroom in farm home, Lake Dick Project September 1938 by Lee Russell
Kitchen in farm home, Lake Dick Project September 1938 by Lee Russell
Refrigerator in farm home, Lake Dick Project September 1938 by Lee Russell
Stove and hot water boiler in farm home. Lake Dick Project, Arkansas by Photographer Lee Russell September 1938
Lake Dick Project Farm wife in Kitchen of new home by photographer Lee Russell September 1938
Today, only a third of the original structures remain. These include 21 houses located south and southeast of the lake, a few of the community buildings, and the south mule barn. Most of the houses were sold and moved intact to surrounding communities.
The co-op was dissolved in 1946 and the land sold to Mr. Ben J. Altheimer of Elm Farms, Inc. Employees of the large landowner now occupy the houses built for members of a profit-sharing farming enterprise. It is currently on the National Register of Historic Places.
Click here to see more stunning photographs of the Lake Dick project in Arkansas.
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