Cape Cod Cranberry Harvest

Cape Cod Cranberry Harvest
Carrie Maderyos, 12 years old, ready to pick at Swifts Bog, Falmouth, 1911. Photo courtesy the Library of Congress.
C. Maderyos, ready to pick at Swifts Bog, Falmouth, 1911.

The October 2009 issue of Cape Cod Life has a lovely article on the modern cranberry harvest. Before they flooded the cranberry bogs creating the glorious sea of red berries, the harvest involved back-breaking work with pronged wooden baskets.

Young pickers on Swifts Bog. All working. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Young pickers on Swifts Bog.

In the early 1900’s, this mother and two children (photo below) would pick about 40 measures a day at 7 cents a measure. See the scoops and pail in the foreground. There were two out of eighteen workers under the age of 12 at the bog that day. They would be expected to work several weeks more and probably miss a bit of school before the harvest ended.Teixiera family.

Don’t miss this year’s cranberry harvest at John Parker Roads Bog, October 17th.

* Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress.