Migrant Worker "Big House" in Wayne County, New York


Dublin Core


Migrant Worker "Big House" in Wayne County, New York

Alternative Title

Migrant Worker "Big House"


Huron (N.Y. : Town)
Migrant workers
Agricultural laborers--New York (State)
Farm laborers


The "big house" of the migrant worker camp, located in Wayne County, New York, that Pilgrim Black (1905-2002) and his wife, Lula Mae Haynes Black (1917-2007), lived in. The house originally had a front porch and was painted a different color. Lula operated her restaurant out of the kitchen in the big house, despite the lack of running water.

Pilgrim was born in 1905, although some records list 1907 as his birth year. Pilgrim and Lula Mae Haynes (1917-2007) Black were migrant crew leaders, and thus migrated to Wayne County in Upstate New York in the summers and back to their home in Sanford for the rest of the year. Pilgrim was the son of Harry Black (d. 1911) and Maggie Benjamin Black (ca.1870-ca.1934), who migrated to Sanford from South Carolina in the 1800s. Harry and Maggie had several children: Leckward Black, Mustar Black, Malachi Black, Leatha Black Walker (1889-1976), Pilgrim Black, Margaret Black Jones (1889-1976), and Harriett Black Lawson. In 1911, Harry owned a grocery store at 206 South Sanford Avenue. One day, he came home from work with pneumonia and passed away shortly thereafter. Pilgrim was nine years old when his father passed away. Maggie was the daughter of former slaves, Isaac and Roseanna Benjamin, and the sister of Nathan Benjamin, Pledge Benjamin, Sam Benjamin, Loui Benjamin, Chainey Benjamin, Lara Benjamin, Melvina Benjamin, and Katie Benjamin.

Pilgrim had to quit school at age 11 in order to provide for his mother, originally working in a mill house until he was 18 years old. After declining a management position, he traveled to Wayne County to pick cherries, apples, pears, and other crops. He broke a bone after falling from an apple tree his first year and decided to try farm labor on a potato farm in Red Creek, New York, instead. Don Holdridge, the farmer who owned the land, noted Pilgrim's high rate of productivity and offered him a management position supervising up to thirty workers at once, which he accepted.

While in Sanford, Pilgrim also worked as a foreman in Sanford for Chase & Company for over 30 years. He married Lula in 1937 and they had several children together, including Vivian Louise Black (1940-); Lula Yvonne Black (1942-); Charles Samuel Black (1945-); Pilgrim Black, Jr. (ca. 1947-), and Patricia Ann Black (1956-).


Black, Patricia Ann


Original color photograph by Patricia Ann Black: Private Collection of Patricia Ann Black.

Date Created

ca. 2006-2007


Black, Patricia Ann

Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of photocopy of original color photograph by Patricia Ann Black.

Is Part Of

Patricia Black Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




148 KB


1 color photograph


Still Image


Big House, Huron, New York

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Geography Teacher


Originally created and owned by Patricia Ann Black.

Rights Holder

Copyright to the resource is held by Patricia Ann Black and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

Private Collection of Patricia Ann Black

External Reference

Coles, Robert. Uprooted Children: The Early Life of Migrant Farm Workers. [Pittsburgh]: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1970.
Piore, Michael J. Birds of Passage: Migrant Labor and Industrial Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1 color photograph


Black, Patricia Ann, “Migrant Worker "Big House" in Wayne County, New York,” RICHES, accessed July 14, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2996.