This picture tell a story about life in the mountains of Tennesseeor some state close. I'm from upstate New York and it looks the same.
The time of year, most likely, is early spring. Judging from the low grass and trees with the lack of leaves. The split rail fence is in good repair less the background where it appears to be broken from winter snow. Need to fix that!!
The women looks to be 60 or 70. Really hard to tell as in throes years the people aged faster due to the hard life. The picture was said to have been taken in 1930. This being the case she was born around 1865.
People like to have their picture taken with things they value most. As in when you hold your Dulcimer for a picture.
Her clothes would have been hand made but maybe a few things store bought. The chair looks to be a rocker. The basket to her left was, I'm
sure, made by her. The spinning wheel was still used in the 1930s but most likely was handed down from a relative and not used. By 1930 cloth was easy to come by. Also no loom is shown. The quilt would have been hand sown and a prize possession. Brooms were always handmade and took some skill to do it right. The Dulcimer stands out and was made of the simplest woods. Mills didn't make thin plywood so it was necessary to shave the wood and smooth it with stone. I saw the process once, not easy. There's an instrument just behind but I can't make it out. The Dulcimer shape is more square because there was no sandpaper or small jigsaws to give it shape and they didn't have time to spare. Cows to milk and feed, wood to cut, go for water, hunting for fresh meat, and other work. You had no money until harvest time when you sold some of what you grew or made. living off the land was a way of life. Candies, you made yourself, or oil lamps gave you light and you cooked over a wood fire. Cloths were hand washed and dried outside in summer and near the fire in winter. A computer was counting on your fingers and the net was something you put on when cooking. I can picture her playing the Dulcimers by the light of an open fire in winter or in front of the house in summer after the day's work. I wonder what it sounded like?
When I saw this picture it gave me a warm feeling inside because I remember families that lived this way. My grandmother's house and the wood shed. She heated and cooked over wood but had gas lamps. A simple time but a hard one.