Lori Henriksen

author of The Winter Loon





Hoovervilles ~ Shantytowns that housed destitute and unemployed during the Depression.

Built primarily on the outskirts of major cities, shantytowns were constructed by the unemployed who lived in the shacks made of found materials. Cardboard, old boards, tin, canvas—any thing would do. President Herbert Hoover was blamed for the shantytowns named for him.

Hoovervilles popped up all over the country from Seattle to New York. The shantytowns covered acres of public land.




Portland OR.jpg

Portland, Oregon

Residents begged for food. Sometimes the occupants were forced to move on, but mostly were tolerated.


Central Park

Women and children made up a good share of the population of Hoovervilles.




Times were tough for the very poorest women. In Hoovervilles one imagines that there was at least some mutual support, camaraderie and sharing. Some women chose to hit the road as hobos called, “sisters of the road,” by the men.


7 thoughts on “Hoovervilles

  1. Such stark and touching pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    @DoreeWeller from
    Doree Weller’s Blog

  2. An amazing time in our history.

  3. Oh wow. How sad. I had no idea it got quite that bad.


  4. Interesting thoughts in your blog. I portray a woman from a much earlier time – late 1600s and early 1700s – who disguises herself as a man in order to pursue a life of adventure. Surprising how many similarities I’m finding to your story of 1930s rodeo. — Jaye from Life Afloat

  5. Those were really tough times for our country but I saw something similar on the beach in California recently and Under freeway in Seattle. Homeless living in Shacks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.