A Trick and a Treat from the Photograph Collection

Happy Halloween! Keeping with the holiday spirit, I have selected two “spooktacular” images from the NSHS Photograph Archives.



The people of Sargent, Nebraska awoke on November 1, 1912 to find that tricksters had been busy the night before on Halloween.  In the photograph above, seven buggies and wagons have mysteriously found their way to the roof of Ottun & Martin building. Tricks and pranks were common occurrences during Halloween at the turn of the 20th century.



Not much is known about the little Halloween cuties in this photograph. Their costumes appear to be homemade. From left to right, we have a gypsy, two clowns, a witch, and possibly another witch.  The little girl at the far right is wearing a dress covered in jack-o-lantern appliqués.  The photograph was likely taken in the early 1920s.

Karen Keehr
Curator of the Visual and Audio Collections

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2 Responses to A Trick and a Treat from the Photograph Collection

  1. Mary H says:

    Thank you so much for posting the photo of Sargent. I remember my dad talking about wagons being put on buildings in Sargent as a Halloween prank but haven’t seen a photo until now. I wonder how they got them up there!

    I wonder if you would correct the spelling of a word. Ottum should be Ottun, ending with an “N”. The Ottuns were a pioneer family in the Round Valley area with descendants of the original settlers still farming there. Thanks!

  2. kkeehr says:

    Mary H – I’m so glad you enjoyed the photo of Sargent. Seven wagons on the roof was a prank for the history books! Also, thank you for catching my typo. I was able to update the blog, but not Facebook.

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