Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
At the town’s Dutch Reformed Church, sunlight penetrating the red and yellow windows makes the faces of the solemn Calvinist worshipers look jaundiced. For recreation, families attend a dance and box supper held upstairs at Adam Oom’s general store.
Pool farm. Home of the Pool family, with whom Selina lives while beginning her teaching job in High Prairie. Thrifty, hard-working farmers, the Pools raise hogs and cabbages. The Pools’ life, she finds, is not a game but an unending job in which they devote every possible minute to making their livelihood from the soil: plowing and reaping, repairing farm tools, cooking, and mending clothes. The most striking aspect of life at the Pools’, so far as Selina is concerned, is the fact that there is no time to appreciate and seek beauty. Up to this point in her life, Selina has devoted much of her time and energy to searching for beauty; now she, too, must devote herself to the problems of farming life and to teaching children whose parents are more concerned with their children’s abilities in the fields than their abilities in the classroom.
A cast iron wood stove dominates the Pool’s clean but cluttered kitchen that smells of pork grease, manure, and damp wool. The house has no indoor plumbing, and family members spend considerable time cutting wood and hauling water. Their parlor walls display pictures of their ancestors; a narrow stairway leads to Selina’s unheated room, which is furnished with a huge walnut-frame bed.
DeJong farm. Home of Pervus DeJong, a poor but handsome farmer whom Selina eventually marries. Its dark, damp farmhouse has a leaky mansard roof and peeling paint. From May to October, DeJong cultivates vegetables on twenty-five acres of unproductive lowland. Other farmers improve their productivity by draining their marshy fields, but Pervus refuses to change. After he dies, Selina studies horticulture books to improve the farm’s productivity and her marketing of its crops. She buys twenty-five additional acres, drains and fertilizes the land, raises hogs, and eventually sells the farm’s increasing produce to an exclusive Chicago clientele.
*Haymarket. Chicago market center to which farmers travel by night to arrive before it opens at dawn, when hundreds of wagons line Haymarket Street. The market is a male-dominated environment in which the predominantly male farmers and buyers resent Selina’s intrusion and make it difficult for her sell her produce.