Tag Archives: old trail market

The Terrible 20’s and the Great Depression

Ray Gesell in front of the OTM.

Clarence Oscarson holding two bags of onions and standing in front of the Old Trail Market.

Ray Gesell returned to the Probstfield Farm after the war was over.  While much of America experienced an economic boom during the Roaring ‘20s, farmers started their Great Depression a decade earlier than everyone else.  For twenty years, prices for grain, vegetables, and meat were too low for farmers to make a decent living.  “It didn’t make any difference how hard you worked or what you did,” Ray said years later. “You couldn’t come out even.”

Ray and his aunts and uncle on the farm were able to make it because of the garden.  While they had no money, they had veggies, a flock of chickens, a milk cow and usually a pig or two.  They were truck farmers, growing vegetables to bring into town or to sell at the Old Trail Market, the roadside vegetable stand on the farm.