Down the old bog road

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Where: Galway, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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Yesterday we had a couple bringing home the turf and today we have people living on the bog with a straight road leading off to the distant hills. The cataloguer seems to have been under the impression that the people were leaning on a rick of turf but it looks more like their home to me! Do you agree and where is it?

Whether temporary or otherwise, the general consensus is that this is a picture dwelling. And O Mac has expertly pinpointed it to the road between Letterfrack and Kylemore Abbey in Connemara....

Photographers: Frederick Holland Mares, James Simonton

Contributor: John Fortune Lawrence

Collection: Stereo Pairs Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1860-1883

NLI Ref: STP_1413

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 20197
lawrencecollection stereographicnegatives jamessimonton frederickhollandmares johnfortunelawrence williammervynlawrence nationallibraryofireland bog moorland house turf peat rick road hills countygalway locationidentified sodhouse bothán hut shack bunnaboghee connemara letterfrack stereopairsphotographcollection stereopairs

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    Niall McAuley

    • 21/Mar/2019 10:02:48

    Looks like between Maam and Leenaun somewhere...

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    John A. Coffey

    • 21/Mar/2019 11:35:15

    Very sad photograph, hopefully they were living in the little cottage down the road.

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    • 21/Mar/2019 12:41:48

    That was how the poor lived. It is their home made of sod and thatched roof.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 21/Mar/2019 13:37:29[email protected] I have some memory there were houses (is that the correct word?) very similar to this one built on farming land in early USA history? Perhaps by Irish settlers.

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    • 21/Mar/2019 13:45:49

    It surely looks like a sod house. A grim way of life.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 21/Mar/2019 14:26:41

    They might not live in it year round, they might just come up to the bog to cut turf.

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    • 21/Mar/2019 16:59:41 Sod houses were not uncommon among early settlers in the western part of the USA, not limited to Irish families. They were usually temporary quarters until funds and materials were available for building more conventional dwellings.

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    • 21/Mar/2019 20:57:34

    [] Also in Canada

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    • 21/Mar/2019 23:01:40 They might not live in it year round, they might just come up to the bog to cut turf. You can tell by their latest fashionable attire, they live in a castle, when they are not vacationing here.

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    O Mac

    • 22/Mar/2019 01:45:46

    Little did they know that that's the N59... heading into Letterfrack. The photographer took the photo to the right of where the Google car was when taking this Streetview.,-9.9327176,3a,44.4y,57.34...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Mar/2019 05:48:17[email protected] Well done

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    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Mar/2019 07:45:00

    These one-room botháns were common before the Famine, but much less common 15-35 years later, the timeframe for this picture. One use for them was migrant workers who moved where they could find work and built them there - harvesting at one time of year, turf another.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Mar/2019 08:01:24

    You can see the cottage built at an angle to the road on the right on the GeoHive 25" around 1900, and by then a Basket Weaving business is on this corner.

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    • 07/Apr/2019 19:11:51

    Maybe bog-oak. Isn't a divining rod? 'Beggars can't be choosers' proverb.

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    Brendan C.H.

    • 01/Jun/2019 06:22:54

    Appears to be the same boy in both photos: