pdx tales
"Fun in Hopyards - Work and Play Combined", September 4th 1892.  A somewhat, um, romanticized look at the year’s hop harvest, then in progress.  The subheading reads “Men and Women, Boys and Girls Gather the Fragrant Blossoms”, and the article continues along in that vein for quite some time.  The general impression I get is that our intrepid reporter — named only J.D.M here — spent a lot of time watching the hop harvest, but didn’t actually speak to a single picker, much less try his or her hand at the picking work.  Some choice quotes:

Life in a hopyard can hardly be classed as work, but the pickers, nevertheless, are paid for their frolicsome duties, and thousands of dollars are circulated in the world’s markets as a result of their summer outing.  In seasons such as the present, where picking is commenced early and the chilly mantle of winter casts no gloom over the bright fields, thousands of men, women, and children may be seen in any of the hop-growing districts of the state, industriously plucking the bright, green blossoms, casting them into boxes and making the surrounding country ring with their merry songs and jests.  There are good hop-pickers, and pickers of an indifferent sort, and extremely slow pickers, but every little hepls and in the end the coffers of the speculative dealers are filled, and the state is advanced a notch as a productive center.
…
When the season opens, entire families in the country districts prepare to depart for the hopyards, with as much pleasant anticipation and longing as does the family of the city business man preparatory to starting for a fashionable watering resort.  
…
Boys and girls are quicker at the work than men and women, their fingers being more supple, and box after box is filled, to the benefit of the family bank account, if such there be.
…
Evening comes and the hop-pickers wend their way to the camp (their tents all cluster in the same vicinity), and preparations are made for the evening meal.  Some have supplied themselves with old stove grates, while others are content with simple log fires and the proverbial tripod, to which is suspended the stew pot or the coffee urn.  The log fires throw a cheerful glow from out the darkness, and the scene throughout is, to say the least, picturesque.  Gathered in groups around the blazing logs, sit men and women engaged in conversation, while the younger folks of both sexes flit around like butterflies among the camp fires.  In some of the larger hopyards dancing platforms have been erected, and here, to the strains of a wind or string instrument manipulated by one of the party, the young people enjoy themselves until bedtime arrives.  In all yards, large and small, Saturday night brings with it scenes of extensive merry-making, because there is no work Sunday, and the pickers may occupy their time as they please until Monday morning.
…
In order to reach the yeard it is necessary to ford the river, and should the visitor arrive about sundown, the eye is greeted by a long line of snow-white tents, which stand out in bold relief against a background of tall trees and flickering camp fires.  Hundreds of faces are clustered around, and the hum of voices and echoes of laughter lend enchantment to the scene.


From there, the article changes gears and switches into a rather dry and technical description of the sorting, drying, and packaging process as it was in 1892.
"Fun in Hopyards - Work and Play Combined", September 4th 1892. A somewhat, um, romanticized look at the year’s hop harvest, then in progress. The subheading reads “Men and Women, Boys and Girls Gather the Fragrant Blossoms”, and the article continues along in that vein for quite some time. The general impression I get is that our intrepid reporter — named only J.D.M here — spent a lot of time watching the hop harvest, but didn’t actually speak to a single picker, much less try his or her hand at the picking work. Some choice quotes:

Life in a hopyard can hardly be classed as work, but the pickers, nevertheless, are paid for their frolicsome duties, and thousands of dollars are circulated in the world’s markets as a result of their summer outing. In seasons such as the present, where picking is commenced early and the chilly mantle of winter casts no gloom over the bright fields, thousands of men, women, and children may be seen in any of the hop-growing districts of the state, industriously plucking the bright, green blossoms, casting them into boxes and making the surrounding country ring with their merry songs and jests. There are good hop-pickers, and pickers of an indifferent sort, and extremely slow pickers, but every little hepls and in the end the coffers of the speculative dealers are filled, and the state is advanced a notch as a productive center.

When the season opens, entire families in the country districts prepare to depart for the hopyards, with as much pleasant anticipation and longing as does the family of the city business man preparatory to starting for a fashionable watering resort.

Boys and girls are quicker at the work than men and women, their fingers being more supple, and box after box is filled, to the benefit of the family bank account, if such there be.

Evening comes and the hop-pickers wend their way to the camp (their tents all cluster in the same vicinity), and preparations are made for the evening meal. Some have supplied themselves with old stove grates, while others are content with simple log fires and the proverbial tripod, to which is suspended the stew pot or the coffee urn. The log fires throw a cheerful glow from out the darkness, and the scene throughout is, to say the least, picturesque. Gathered in groups around the blazing logs, sit men and women engaged in conversation, while the younger folks of both sexes flit around like butterflies among the camp fires. In some of the larger hopyards dancing platforms have been erected, and here, to the strains of a wind or string instrument manipulated by one of the party, the young people enjoy themselves until bedtime arrives. In all yards, large and small, Saturday night brings with it scenes of extensive merry-making, because there is no work Sunday, and the pickers may occupy their time as they please until Monday morning.

In order to reach the yeard it is necessary to ford the river, and should the visitor arrive about sundown, the eye is greeted by a long line of snow-white tents, which stand out in bold relief against a background of tall trees and flickering camp fires. Hundreds of faces are clustered around, and the hum of voices and echoes of laughter lend enchantment to the scene.

From there, the article changes gears and switches into a rather dry and technical description of the sorting, drying, and packaging process as it was in 1892.

  1. pdxtales posted this
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