Smuggler's Notch, Vermont
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In 1807, President Thomas Jefferson passed the Embargo Act, prohibiting trade with Great Britain and Canada. This made things very difficult for local Vermonters, who began smuggling goods back and forth with Canada through a natural-made pass in the mountains—hence "Smuggler's Notch".
Over one hundred years later, Marion Post Wolcott photographed the adventuresome skiers who made their way up Mount Mansfield and the Sterling Range. Though the area would not become a resort until 1956, many locals enjoyed skiing down the mountains. The hut pictured was used during the year by a forest ranger, but was open to skiers in the winter. Complete with a wood stove, it was a perfect pit stop. Unfortunately, the hut suffered a recent fire on Christmas Eve 2015 and is now reduced to a stone shell.
Marion Post Wolcott | See All Editions
Marion Post Wolcott is best known for the more than 9,000 photographs she produced for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) from 1938 to 1942. She was the first woman offered a full time FSA appointment. Born in Montclair, N.J. her mother, Marion "Nan" Hoyt Post, was an ardent activist for progressive causes working with Margaret Sanger the founder of Planned Parenthood.
Before Wolcott became a government photographer, she was at first a teacher. Moving to New York City in 1936 she then earned her living making photographs for magazines and newspapers. Initially she worked freelance, then as a staff photojournalist in 1937 and 1938, Wolcott broke gender barriers in the newspaper darkroom.
Then she worked for the Farm Security Administration. She covered thousands of miles of the United States with her camera to document and publicize the need for federal assistance to those hardest hit by the Great Depression and agricultural blight. Wolcott also contributed 120 color photographs to the FSA when Kodak provided early samples of Kodachrome film to the staff for experimentation.
Drawing on her social concerns and her artistic vision to illustrate issues that needed redress, Wolcott produced an extraordinary number of images and her occupation challenged many social morés about the propriety of young women living away from the family home and traveling on their own. Her artistry and perseverance have inspired many articles, books, and exhibitions.
- Library of Congress
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