Malaga Island, 1912

Malaga Island is a 41-acre island in Casco Bay, Maine. While it looks completely devoid of life nowadays, it was once the home of an interracial community of approximately 45. In 1912, the community was forced to leave the island due to racism and eugenics. The majority were forcibly committed to the Maine School for the Feeble Minded, where they spent the rest of their lives. Officials even disinterred their bodies and buried them in the ground of the psychiatric hospital. Those that weren’t committed, suffered from the stigma that was associated with the island. Local newspapers added to the stigma by referring to them as “the degenerate colony” specifically because they were interracial families. 

From: Congenital Disease

Swedish House-Gymnastics (1913)

These wonderful photographs, which make such innovative use of multiple exposure, are from a 1913 German book titled Schwedische Haus-Gymnastik nach dem System P.H. Lings by Theodor Bergquist, Director of the Swedish Gymnastic Institute in the Bavarian spa town of Bad Wörishofen.

BOOKS: The Affluenza Murder Case That Shocked America 100 Years Ago

At the turn of the twentieth century, a group of teenagers in Brooklyn collectively known as the Bedford Avenue Gang (many came from relatively wealthy families) were bucking the restrictive societal norms of their parents. This crew routinely got fucked up, had a lot of sex, and was prone to commit petty crimes.

But things went bad when Florence Burns, a young woman from the neighborhood, had a violent quarrel with one of the Gang, Walter Brooks, on Valentine’s Day 1902 at the Glen Island Hotel. Several hours later, Brooks was found dying in a hotel room with a bullet wound in his head. 

Dearfield, Colorado: A ghost town that was once a bustling all-black settlement

This deserted town on the high plains of Colorado may not look like much these days, but Oliver Toussaint Jackson had a grand vision for it when he founded it in 1910.

Jackson, known as O.T., aimed to create a self-sustaining settlement for African-Americans at a time when it was difficult for black families to buy property in most Denver neighborhoods.