Negro Housing

Lorch, Emil. Children Playing outside of Brewster Projects. 1930. Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.
These are the Brewster Projects my Grandmother lived in when she left Alabama

Johnson. Negro Housing: Physical Aspects, Social and Economic Factors Home Ownership and Financing

This report, located in UA’s Hoole Special Collections library, addresses the physical, social, economic, and financial factors of home ownership within the Negro communities—more specifically “from the farm of the South to the

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You Have Seen Their Faces

Caldwell, Erskine, and Margaret Bourke-White. You Have Seen Their Faces.  The Viking Press, 1937. Hoole Special Collections Library, UA.

             You Have Seen Their Faces, by Erskine Caldwell and Margaret Bourke-White, is a compilation of photos and short excerpts published in 1937 by The Viking Press, which explores the South during the Great Depression, and uses pictures and personal quotes to describe the sentiments felt by those living

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Joseph Needle


A man in his tuxedo and his family
Joseph Needle, his two sons, his wife, and his daughter in law. (Family photo)

From the time that he was a boy, Joseph Needle, born on December 7, 1896 in Charleston, South Carolina, had a clear picture of the world around him. As the son of a retail storekeeper, he spent the beginning of his life working within the family business, until attending Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. After his schooling finished in 1921, he moved back to his home- town and married Bertha Rephan. The couple had two sons, Harry and Morton, and lived on President Street in downtown Charleston. There, Joseph worked as a Civil Engineer and Cartographer, positions that allowed him to transfer his own picture of the world onto a lucid canvas for others to follow. When he passed away on March 5, 1976, these directions had not only provided a clear path for his family, but his entire city as a whole.

The Infamous Map

"Historic Charleston on a Map," the title of Joseph Needle's map of Charleston, South Carolina

When my mother was a little girl, she vividly remembers the days when her Poppy let her join him at work in his attic-style cartography studio in Charleston, South Carolina. Poppy, known to the rest of the city as Joseph Needle, was a Civil Engineer and my great-grandfather. As listed on the Charleston government website under the “City Engineering Records from 1867-1979,” Joseph’s work entailed “providing essential public services to a growing populace” ( Continue reading “The Infamous Map”

Mary Maude Jago Hayes


Contributed by her Great-Grandson Michael Christopher Auprince

Mary Maude Jago Hayes was born to Eliza Jago and James Hayes in 1900 in Burwood, a small working class suburb within Sydney, Australia. Mary married Andre Auprince at the age of 22 in 1922, where the couple resided within the suburb of Hurstville, Sydney to be close to her family. Several years after the birth of her two children Ivan (1923) and Jacqueline Auprince (1927), Mary filed for divorce from Andre in 1937 citing desertion. She moved to the country town of Bathurst in 1936 where she met and married William Lyle Dowling in 1940 at the age of 40, after serving as his children’s nanny for several months. She died in 1969 at the age of 69 in Bathurst where she is buried.

Family Photo
Mary with her Grandmother, Mother and Son
Family Photo
The Birth Certificate of Mary Maude Jago Hayes