Farming & rural life (45 collections) SCUA

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New England Homestead

New England Homestead Farm Accounts Collection, 1883-1884.

2 vols. (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 113

The New England Homestead, a magazine published in Springfield, Massachusetts from 1842 to 1969, conducted a contest in 1884 to which farmers submitted notebooks recording their farm accounts for the one year period, April 1, 1883 to March 31, 1884.

The collection includes bound and unbound farm accounts submitted as entries to the contest contest. The Library holds The New England Homestead, 1842-1850 on microfilm, and 1894-1968 in bound volumes.

Subjects

  • Agriculture--Accounting--Competitions--New England
  • Agriculture--Economic aspects--New England--History--19th century
  • Agriculture--New England--Accounting--History--19th century
  • Contests--New England
  • Farm management--Competitions--New England
  • Farm management--New England--History--19th century
  • Farmers--Competitions--New England
  • Farmers--New England--Economic conditions--19th century
  • New England--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • New England Homestead

New York Farm Bureau

New York Farm Bureau Photograph Collection, 1915-1916.

5 images (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 053
Ilion, N.Y. detail)
Ilion, N.Y. detail)

Founded as a non-governmental, volunteer organization in 1911, the New York Farm Bureau offers resources to support and enrich rural life and encourages farmers to work collaboratively for better marketing and production.

This small collection of photographs documents inspection tours conducted by the New York Farm Bureau of farms, apparently in the Mohawk River Valley, in 1915-1916. The intent, as the caption of one photograph suggests, was to bring “science into the field.”

Subjects

  • Automobiles--Photographs
  • Fort Plain (N.Y.)--Photographs
  • Ilion (N.Y.)--Photographs
  • Street-railroads--New York (State)--Photographs

Types of material

  • Photographs

Newland, Jacob and John E.

Jacob and John E. Newland Account Book, 1798-1849.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 197 bd

The account book kept by Jacob Newland and later John E. Newland of Mansfield, Massachusetts, between 1798 and 1849, details much about the work of these farmers and their interaction with neighbors in eastern Mansfield during the early nineteenth century. The customers, most of whom seem to have been fellow farmers, made frequent use of the Newlands’ animals and animal-drawn vehicles (carriage, “waggon,” “slay”) for riding and work, in addition to purchasing products, using the Newlands’ labor, and leasing pasture land. The book also served as a leaf press and scrapbook for newspaper items bearing upon the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, mention of social events and anniversaries, children’s sayings, short romantic fiction, and as a copybook for poetry.

Subjects

  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Mansfield

Contributors

  • Newland, Jacob
  • Newland, John E

Types of material

  • Account books

North Hadley Farmers Club

North Hadley Farmers Club Records, 1856-1863.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 616 bd

At a December 1856 meeting, the farmers of North Hadley, Mass., approved the proposal that “the interest of Agriculture would be materially promoted by the formation of a farmers club.” Drafting a constitution, they elected Lewis Fish President, Joseph H. Shattuck Vice President, and Levi Stockbridge (a key figure in the early history of the Massachusetts Agricultural College) Secretary, and for several years thereafter, they met regularly to pursue their mission of elevating farming through education and the application of scientific principals to agriculture. The club appears to have folded during the later years of the Civil War.

The minute book contains a relatively detailed record of the meetings of a typical late-antebellum farmers’ society in New England. Typically held during the slower seasons, the meetings centered around discussions of new methods for improving the profitability of farming, from proper plowing to manuring, breeding, marketing, and the various “experiments they have tried” on their farms, but some discussions ran into debates over the morality of tobacco farming or general ideas for improving the social image and status of farming. The minute book includes relatively detailed synopses of each meeting, with the entries prior to 1861 tending to be a bit more extensive.

Subjects

  • Farming--Massachusetts--North Hadley
  • North Hadley (Mass.)--History
  • Tobacco

Contributors

  • North Hadley Farmers Club
  • Stockbridge, Levi, 1820-1904

Types of material

  • Minute books

Peckham, Alford S.

Alford S. Peckham Collection, 1940s-1990s.

6 boxes (9 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 707
New England agricultural event
New England agricultural event

Born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1919, Alford S. Peckham attended Rhode Island College, graduating in 1941, before serving in the U.S. Army 1st Division until receiving a medical discharge. For twenty-one years he worked as the manager of public relations for the United Farmers of New England, a cooperative of dairy farmers. His interest and expertise in agricultural history continued even after he left the cooperative for the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston; he was appointed the Massachusetts state agricultural historian in July 1989 and amassed his own collection of historical resources in the hopes of developing a Massachusetts Agricultural History Society. Peckham died on December 20, 2005 in Newport, Rhode Island, his home since his retirement in 1984.

Consisting chiefly of subject files, the Alford S. Peckham Collection covers topics ranging from agricultural history and fairs to dairy farmers and animal rights. Also included are photographs of agricultural events around New England, such as the Massachusetts Dairy Festival (1958), the American Dairy Princess (1961), and the Big E (1950s).

Subjects

  • Agriculture--Massachusetts--History
  • Agriculture--New England--History
  • Dairy farms--Massachusetts--History
  • Farms--New England--History

Rural American Women’s Conference

Rural American Women Conference Records, 1978-1981.

5 boxes (2.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 146

Feeling the frustrations of millions of women and girls in rural America who lacked the support or resources necessary to combat unemployment, inadequate medical care, and domestic violence, Jane Threatt along with several other women decided to form a non-profit organization that would unite these women and give them a national voice. Established in 1978, Rural American Women (RAW) was organized to promote the interests of rural women in the areas of equal rights, employment, education, family life, and freedom of all forms of discrimination.

In 1981 RAW held a series of five regional conferences throughout the country, and the bulk of this collection consists of records relating to the New England meeting. The records also include some materials documenting the group’s activities at their national headquarters in D.C., such as minutes, correspondence, newsletters, and pamphlets.

Subjects

  • Rural women

Contributors

  • Rural American Women

Sargent, Orlando, 1728-1803

Orlando Sargent Account Book, 1753-1808.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 139

Prosperous, slave-owning farmer from Amesbury, Massachusetts, who also served as town warden, selectman, and representative. Includes details of the purchases of agricultural products (corn, potatoes, lamb, rye, hay, molasses, wood, cheese), and related services with some of the town’s earliest settlers, widow’s expenses, expenses in support of his grandmother, and family dates.

Subjects

  • Agricultural prices--Massachusetts--Amesbury--History--18th century
  • Amesbury (Mass.)--Economic conditions--18th century
  • Amesbury (Mass.)--History--18th century--Biography
  • Amesbury (Mass.)--Officials and employees--History--18th century
  • Farm produce--Massachusetts--Amesbury--History--18th century
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Amesbury--Economic conditions--18th century
  • Sargent family

Contributors

  • Sargent, Orlando, 1728-1803

Types of material

  • Account books

Smith, Gilbert, b. 1801

Gilbert Smith and Gilbert Smith, Jr. Account Books, 1798-1846.

2 vols. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 205 bd

Gilbert Smith was a shoemaker and doctor from New Marlborough, Massachusetts, and his son Gilbert Jr. was a prosperous farmer from Sheffield, Massachusetts. Includes merchandise sales, labor accounts, lists of boarders, and documentation of the sale of homemade butter and cheese to local merchants, as well as trade with the substantial rural black community of the region.

Subjects

  • African Americans--Massachusetts--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Agricultural laborers--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Agricultural wages--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Dairy products--Massachusetts--Marketing--History--19th century
  • Family--Economic aspects--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Sheffield--History--19th century
  • New Marlborough (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Sheffield (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Smith, Gilbert, 1801-
  • Smith, Gilbert, d. 1804

Types of material

  • Account books

Smith, Lewis

Lewis Smith Account Book, 1784-1828.

3 folders (0.15 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 085 bd

Lewis Smith of South Hadley, Massachusetts kept a sporadic record of his business and personal credits and debits from 1784-1828. Smith ran a cider mill along a river, possibly the Connecticut. In his papers he mentions buying a part ownership in a sawmill in 1790. Smith also sold large amounts of hides, meat, tallow, lard, and soap, and he had a sizeable farm where he grew rye, barley, wheat, hay and raised cattle, pigs, and sheep.

Subjects

  • Farmers--Massachusetts--South Hadley
  • South Hadley (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Account books

Tilton, Hannah

Hannah Tilton Account Book, 1845-ca 1885.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 250 bd

Hannah Tilton was born to Job and Patience Sisson of New Bedford in 1829. In the early 1850s, she married George O. Tilton, at that time a mariner, of Chilmark (on Martha’s Vineyard) and moved to the island. The first 340 pages of this account book detail the daily transactions of a New Bedford general store from 1845 to 1847. It is not clear as to what Hannah’s relationship to the store or its unidentified owner was, or how she came into possession of the account book.

Subjects

  • General stores--Massachusetts--New Bedford
  • New Bedford (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Account books
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