Cowboy Photographer: Erwin E Smith
SEARCH
About Erwin E Smith  Teaching ResourcesCollection Guide





   Spring/Fall Roundups
     Gathering the Herd
     Cutting
     Branding
     The Stray Man
   Summer Trail Drive
     Cattle on the Trail
     The Railhead
     Day Herder
     Night Herder
     Open-Range Branding
     Chuck Wagon
     Remuda
     Dangers on the Trail
   Winter Work








Seasonal Work | Winter Work
page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Most range bosses laid cowhands off in the winter, telling them to come back in the spring. But the good workers and men with families were sometimes kept on to help with winter work, which consisted of holding cattle on a particular area of the range for the season. Cowhands who were hired on to do this work lived in a line camp. Sometimes cattle would have to be fed hay or feed while they were on winter ground. If so, the cowhand was called a "feeder" or "hay shoveler." He was responsible for riding the fence line and making sure that the cows were staying on their side. He also made sure that the fence was in good repair. If windmills were on the range, then repairing them was also his responsibility, for a herd could not last long without water.

While Smith did most of his photography during the peak times of activity, he was able to capture typical winter scenes on more than one occasion. In 1906, while visiting his cousin's ranch, he was surprised by the severe weather of a "blue norther." He took the opportunity to secure photographs of cattle seeking shelter on an ice-covered prairie and a lone fence rider on patrol. At another time, he made several winter photographs at the Matador Ranch's line camp, which had originally served as the ranch's headquarters.


LC-S59-277

LC-S59-275

LC-S59-620

LC-S59-270

LC-S59-273

LC-S59-265

LC-S59-268

LC-S59-272

LC-S59-285

LC-S59-276

LC-S59-267

LC-S59-261
  page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
creditscopyrightcontact usamon carter museum web site
Made possible through generosity of Erwin E Smith Foundation
ACM logo