A new project from a team at Yale University has geographically organized a series of government photos from the 1930s and 1940s, including images of life in Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego counties.
The Yale Photogrammar Project organizes by county photos taken nationwide by the Farm Security Administration — Office of War Information, a New Deal project that compiled some of the most recognizable images of the Great Depression and World War II.
The photos, first digitized by the Library of Congress in the 1990s, have been organized by things such as date, colors and subject matter, with the website’s template making it much more accessible for searching.
Many of the Jefferson and Lewis county images show a period of uncertainty as several hamlets were folded to make room for a massive expansion of training space at Pine Camp, later known as Camp Drum and now Fort Drum.
An 84,000-acre land buy essentially closed LeRaysville, Sterlingville, Woods Mills, Lewisburg and North Wilna, and led to the leveling of several churches, schools, homes and other buildings.
The Lewis County photos show a similar theme, many picturing the closure of Lewisburg, where homes and businesses were cleared for the Army expansion.
The large collection for Oswego County shows a wide range of events, including United Nations Week in 1943, two years before the international organization was established.
The Yale University project can be found at