© Time Inc.In the early 1930s, much of what is now known as Llanwerth was loosely connected farmland. Three small towns existed not far apart, each with trolley lines and railway lines connecting them to the two nearest cities so farmers could go into the city to sell their crops and purchase new equipment, or, on rare occasions, just spend the day.
© Time Inc.Life isn't exactly easy for the farm folk, not only because of the Great Depression, but also because of weather conditions. Although the Little Ice Age ended in 1850 and the world has steadily been warming, winters are still harsh and in the early 1930s they are especially so, with frequent heavy snowfalls bordering on blizzard conditions. Winter crops such as winter wheat and sweet potatoes cannot be grown because of all the snow, and although most farms have alternative products to offer, the income is barely enough to keep themselves afloat. Snow continues moving in the direction of these farms, but as the spring comes round, it quickly turns to driving rains, washing away large amounts of what could have otherwise been bountiful harvests. It isn't until 1936 that conditions stabilize to a more familiar year.
© Time Inc.Life fares a bit better for those in town, who are largely wealthy businessmen who work in the city but enjoy the quaintness of the country. However, even the wealthiest of the townsmen feel the effects of the economic downturn. Mom-n-Pop shops are closing and homes are hitting the market.
© Time Inc.In spite of this, people seem to be moving into town just as quickly as houses are going up for sale. A cycle of sell-buy springs up, and soon more than half of residents are in town for only a year before monetary issues drives them elsewhere. Roughly forty percent of those who survive the first year end up leaving after their second year. Very few people remain in town for the long haul.
© Time Inc.It seems as though any moment now, all life will just disappear from this tiny part of the nation. And yet the clouds of war are looming in the distance, and close on their heels come the golden rays of fortune...