Farming & rural life (40 collections) SCUA

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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

UMass Amherst. College of Natural Resources and the Environment

UMass Amherst. College of Natural Resources and the Environment, 1882-2007.

(53.5 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 15

During its first seventy five years, the mission of Massachusetts Agricultural College gradually expanded from its original focus on teaching the science of agriculture and horticulture. Coping with the changing demands of research and teaching in a disparate array of fields, responsibilities for the administration of University units were reorganized at several points, culminating in the formation of the College of Natural Resources and the Environment in 1993.

This record group consists of Dean’s annual reports, organizational charts, personnel lists, committee minutes, lecture materials, data sheets, maps and census statistics, conference proceedings, course catalogs, directories, publications, handbooks, records of the Agricultural Experiment Station, photographs and audio-visual materials, and other related materials.

Access restrictions: Portions of this collection are stored off-site and require advance notification for retrieval.

Subjects

  • Agriculture--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Agricultural Experiment Station
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. College of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Urbana Wine Company

Urbana Wine Company Records, 1881-1911.

6 boxes (9 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 660
Urbana Wine Co. document
Urbana Wine Co. document

Founded by John W. Davis, H.H. Cook, A.J. Startzer and others in 1865, the Urbana Wine Company was among the earliest and most successful wineries in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Organized in Hammondsport, N.Y., the center of the eastern wine industry, Urbana’s claim to fame was its widely popular Gold Seal Champagne and other sparkling wines and along with Walter Taylor, they dominated regional wine production during the Gilded Age. The winery survived passage of Prohibition in 1919 , both World Wars operating under the Gold Seal label, but was closed by its parent company, Seagrams, in 1984.

The Urbana Records are concentrated in the period 1881-1885, as the company was growing rapidly. Among other materials, the collection includes a range of correspondence, receipts, some financial records, and tallies of grapes. Additional material on the company is located in Cornell University’s Eastern Wine and Grape Archive.

Subjects

  • Grapes
  • Viticulture
  • Wine industry--New York

Contributors

  • Urbana Wine Company

Wyman, Eunice P.

Eunice P. Wyman Account Book, 1814-1840.

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 163

Account book of Eunice P. Wyman of Concord, Massachusetts documenting financial transactions relating to her farm and homestead. She gained income not only from selling products (butter, soap, syrup for a sick man, pigs), but also through selling the services of her sons John and Franklin (picking apples, driving cows, digging potatoes, butchering, digging wells, shoveling gravel) and renting half her house to a man who paid, in part, by performing chores (putting rockers on an arm chair, white washing two rooms, making a flower box).

Wyman’s goods and her sons’ services were typically paid for in cash or by exchange of goods or services (cider and vinegar, wool, by driving her cattle home from Stoddard’s pasture, shoemaking, plowing the garden, by “himself and oxen to go into town to get 23 rails and 11 posts,” use of wagons, horses, carts, and oxen). Customers have been identified as being from Concord, Carlisle, Acton, and Westford. The account book includes records of grocer Porter Kimball of Sterling, Massachusetts (1814), and recipes.

Subjects

  • Concord (Mass.)--History--19th century
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Concord

Types of material

  • Account books
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