Winslow Homer (1836 -1910)
Making Hay
Harper’s Weekly, Vol. XVI, July 6, 1872
Wood engraving on newsprint

The men mow hay in an apple orchard like the orchards that used to grow on Hurley Heights, Hillside Avenue, Rolling Meadows, and along Hurley Avenue.  In Homer's day apples were an important cash crop in Hurley.  Once again the artist pays homage to the farming roots and rural character of Hurley.    The same young man with the scythe and the apple orchard is see in the painting Waiting an Answer at rightSome Homer scholars have observed that the children sitting on the grass are awkwardly placed and poorly drawn.  They believe that someone other than Homer must have added them at the time the piece was engraved.

Winslow Homer (1836 -1910)
Waiting an Answer, 1872
Oil on canvas, 12 x 17.1 in
Peabody Art Collection, on extended loan to Baltimore Museum of Art

The young woman in this painting is in deep in thought after the young man has popped the question.  Will she say "Yes"?  This painting was clearly done in concert with the engraving Making Hay as they have many shared elements.  The notable feature in this painting that ties its location to Hurley is the tiny white church steeple peeking above the hillside between the two tree trunks.  This suggests a setting near Hurley Avenue where the land slopes steeply down to the Flats.


Hurley Orchard

ca. 1905.  A view from the large ravine dubbed "Spook Hole" by locals, looking from Hurley Avenue northeast towards Kingston.  Apple trees dotted the slopes leading down to the Hurley Flats and also uphill from Hurley Avenue to what is now known as Rolling Meadows.  It was near this location where Homer found his inspiration for the painting Waiting an Answer at left.