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Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Oconto County

Carpenter Shop and Blacksmith Shop at Sampson
Owned by Mike at the Hilltop Bar in Sampson
Contributed by::  Kris Kolkowski

"This photograph was probably taken around the 1880’s, but nobody knows for sure.  All they know is that nothing in the picture is there today. You can see the buggy parked next to one of the buildings, and a little children's wagon in the lower right hand side of the picture."

Evidence found to support the Sampson photo identity
 The buildings shown correspond with what was on the 1880 Census for Sampson (it was Pensaukee township at that time, later Chase).  Plat maps closest to that time indicate the same. Byng and Banta, who owned the properties on which the buildings stood, were a carpenter and a blacksmith with shops along that intersection.  (The position of the roads at the intersection is very different today).  Harteau was a cooper working in the carpenter shop making barrels for grain and other produce. Carpenters and blacksmiths worked together turning out lots of items, from wagons and harnesses to kitchen tools, needed by the farm families, as well as making needed repairs of all types. 

The name "Sampson" was not official at that time.  It was a "corners settlement" surrounded by farms. While it is not possible to absolutely verify this photo, the "No. 2" is printed backwards above the "Sampson", which would indicate a reverse "glass plate" photo.  Such photo equipment was used in the Oconto County area by photographers of  the 1880's. Photographers would write the location and plate numbers backwards, directly on the glass negatives, which accounts for some unusual characteristics to the hand printing. Local immigrant farmers who were proud of their new homesteads and realtors hoping to sell land would send the photos, which had been taken of the "local features" by traveling photographers,  to Europe . 

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