Universal York

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"Centrally-located water supply" for getting a drink, washing up and filling buckets.

More photos of 1948 child migrant workers in York County

In my April York Sunday News column, which I posted a few weeks ago, I shared my shock at how many children were included in the migrant workers that came to help harvest York County crops in the late 1940s.  An August 1948 Gazette and Daily article and accompanying full page photo spread showed women and children who came from Baltimore to the Hungerford Packing company camp to harvest beans, corn and tomatoes.  Many came each year while the husbands and fathers stayed in Baltimore to work their factory jobs.

I used one of the seven photos with my column.  It showed mostly teenagers and children packed into a stake bed truck returning back at the camp after a day in the bean fields. The rest of the original photos, now in the York County History Center collections, are shared here with captions condensed from the original page of photos.

Starting a new field of wax beans, some workers bend down, others work on their knees.


"Typical migrant workers," Mrs. Jessie Jakelski and twin nine-year-olds, Bernadine and Veronica.
“Typical migrant workers,” Mrs. Jessie Jakelski and twin nine-year-olds, Bernadine and Veronica.


Mrs. Louise May spent the last 16 summers in York County fields. Daughter Theresa, 15, has been coming since she was three months old.


Playing tag between two long rows of “cottages” built year before. “Believed above the average living quarters.”


Cats and pets popular pets, but four-year-old Ronald Thomas poses with his pet pigeon.