Saturday, January 10, 2015

Furry Faced Farm Friends

My Grandmother, Eva Pilgrim, grew up on a farm at Winiam, Victoria, Australia.  She wrote "I love horses and working dogs, but not lap dogs".

The photo below, taken in 1919 when Gran was nearly 9 years old, is an early indication of her love of animals.  It is a tiny photo at only 6cm X 4cm.  

It looks like they have been digging in fox holes?

Eva Pilgrim - June 1919
Does this say "Tugandtoil" Horsham?
I think it could be a property name? 

I am very fortunate that my grandmother took a large number of photos around the family farm "Almond Dale" with her Box Brownie. Here is a small selection of her photos, which give a really good indication of the animals on the farm;

James Pilgrim -  Almond Dale 1928
Almond Dale  Pigs - September 1929

Lorna Pilgrim - Almond Dale 1931

Almond Dale Cows - August 1929

Edna Pilgrim, Freda Presser, Lorna Pilgrim and Eva Pilgrim
Pearl in the cowyard at Almond Dale - 1929

It seems that Pearl was a favourite pet as the Jersey Heiffer appears in a large number of photos

Pearl and the twins - September 1931
Lorna Pilgrim feeding Pearl (and Rosie) apples
May 1930

" An apple a day, keeps the doctor away, but these cows will take as many apples as they can get"
Eva Pilgrim

French Rabbits  - November 1929
Jim Geyer (cousin) and Kangy
Almond Dale - October 1931

Lorna Pilgrim with Mags and Cocky
Almond Dale - October 1931
Almond Dale Dogs - November 1929
Butcher, Jack and Joker

Joker and Bower must have been the favourite dogs as there are more photos of them than the other dogs.

Gran wrote that although their farm dogs were working dogs, they were regularly patted.

Lorna Pilgrim and Ginger
August 1932

Hazel, Edna and Lorna
Joker on left and Bower on right

Almond Dale Horses - 1928

Coral Wohlers and Edna on Dolly - Hazel and Lorna on Bennie
September 1932

"A catch in a crow trap. A dead sheep is placed in the enclosure.
The crows go in through the top, where the bag is thrown over.
July 1930"

Vermin, which ate crops or killed animals were regularly captured on the farm.  I have shown photos of an eagle and a snake previously.

I initially thought that this was a makeshift aviary but on reading the back of the photo, it is a Crow Trap.
The design was published in The Weekly Times.

This post was prompted by Sepia Saturday.  Please click for more posts


  1. Wonderful furry friends Sharon. That crow trap is very interesting. Crows are such a pest around sheep that are lambing. As the lambs are born the crows come along and peck their eyes. I particularly love the pigs even though they're not furry and cuddly they make amazing pets. I hand raised a few pigs as a kid, they are so intelligent.

    1. I also thought the crow trap was interesting. I had no idea that they would peck the lambs eyes! Thank you for the insight!

  2. What a great record of her childhood on the farm. The pigs look like they will make some tasty meals as they continued to grow big and plump.

    1. I send a silent thank you to my grandmother regularly for all her photos and stories!

  3. Ha! Ha! But lap dogs are the best! I really enjoyed all your fun furry animals!

    1. I agree Karen! We have a little lap dog too!

  4. These are great photos of a farm, the animals, and you know who all the people in the photos are! Thanks for sharing!

    1. My grandmother was wonderful at not just recording names but also telling stories about people!

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you! And they are a small selection!

  6. I lived on a dairy farm; we had Jerseys...they are just lovely, and Pearl was no exception!

    1. There are many more photos of her as well. She was certainly a favourite.

  7. A wonderful series of photos. No sitting around with lap dogs for her; out on the farm, where the real animals were!

    1. Gran walked everywhere (never had her licence). For many many years, we would run or skip beside her as she walked so fast!

  8. What a great farm -- every day must have been an adventure.
    Jersey cows have the best face -- they must have posed for a lot of illustrators of children's books. HA HA

  9. I have to say, I'm just slightly envious of all the wonderful photographs of your grandmother, her family, and all the farm animals. My father was just a few years younger and there are no surviving photos of animals on the farm where he grew up -- in fact, there probably never were any photographs of farm animals. What a treasure you have!

    1. I thank my grandmother all the time! Many of her photos were in the Weekly Times (a newspaper primarily for farmers) so I am looking forward to them being digitised so I can see them in print!