Historic Photographs of the Oregon Hopscape
The craft brewing renaissance of recent decades has brought a renewed interest in hops. These vigorous vines, with their flavorful flowers, have long played a key role in beer making and in Oregon’s agricultural landscape. This compendium of photographs offers a visual dive into the distinctive physical presence of hops in the state. From pickers and poles to cones and oasts, Kenneth I. Helphand brings the landscape and culture of hops to life.
For much of the first half of the twentieth century, Oregon was the leading producer of hops in the United States, with the Willamette Valley deemed “the garden spot of the world for the cultivation of hops.” The author has scoured archives across the state to gather together images of the hops landscape in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The photographs featured in Hops portray pickers of all backgrounds through different eras of agricultural practice. Here are children, nuns, families, immigrants, and college students in fields, hop driers, and tent camps. The photos range from the candid to the highly professional, including images from Dorothea Lange’s iconic Farm Security Administration work.
The 85 high-quality photographs are accompanied by captions that provide, variously, factual background, selections from oral histories, and visual guidance. A historical essay provides a short overview of the plant’s history and the world of hop growing and picking.
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