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