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Collecting area: Farming & rural life (Page 5 of 6)

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 HadleyNorth Hadley (Mass.)--HistoryTobacco

Contributors

North Hadley Farmers ClubStockbridge, 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
Depiction of 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).

Gift of Sean M. Fisher, DCR Archives, June 2011

Subjects

Agriculture--Massachusetts--HistoryAgriculture--New England--HistoryDairy farms--Massachusetts--HistoryFarms--New England--History
Richards family

Richards Family Collection

1692-1818
2 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1030 bd

A prosperous farmer in the southern reaches of Massachusetts Bay Colony, James Richards was born on June 2, 1658, and never ventured far from his from his home in Weymouth or the adjoining town of Braintree. The son of William Richards and his wife Grace Shaw, and a member of the third generation of Richards in the new world, James was characteristically diverse in his economic activities, raising livestock (sheep and pigs), harvesting salt grass, making salt, and raising crops including rye, corn, and barley, which he malted, presumably for the production of beer. Although most of his transactions were local, he traded as far away as Charlestown and Barnstable.

The Richards family ledgers include a daybook from James Richards kept between 1692-1710 and an account book from his great grandson Jacob Richards kept a century later, along with loose receipts from generations of Richards in between. The volume associated with James Richards records sales of goods produced on his Weymouth farm, including barley, rye, “Indian corn,” salt, mutton and lamb, pork, and eggs, along with occasional records of the sale of goods such as shingles, “board nails,” clapboards, molasses and sugar, lamp oil, tobacco, and cloth. The sparser records from Jacob Richards include accounts that include the sale of cider; cord wood; pine, oak, and maple boards; and shoes.

Gift of Carolyn Taylor, June 2017, through the UMass Press.

Subjects

Agriculture--Massachusetts--WeymouthAgriculture--Massachusetts--WeymouthWeymouth (Mass.)--Economic conditions--17th centuryWeymouth (Mass.)--Economic conditions--18th century

Contributors

Richards, Jacob, 1778-Richards, James, 1658-1711

Types of material

Account booksDaybooks
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 centuryAmesbury (Mass.)--Economic conditions--18th centuryAmesbury (Mass.)--History--18th century--BiographyAmesbury (Mass.)--Officials and employees--History--18th centuryFarm produce--Massachusetts--Amesbury--History--18th centuryFarmers--Massachusetts--Amesbury--Economic conditions--18th centurySargent 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 centuryAgricultural laborers--Massachusetts--History--19th centuryAgricultural wages--Massachusetts--History--19th centuryDairy products--Massachusetts--Marketing--History--19th centuryFamily--Economic aspects--Massachusetts--History--19th centuryFarmers--Massachusetts--Sheffield--History--19th centuryNew Marlborough (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centurySheffield (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
2 folders 0.15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 085 b

A resident of Northampton, Mass., directly across the Connecticut River from South Hadley, Lewis Smith ran a substantial farm during the early decades of the nineteenth century. Settling in the village of Smith’s Ferry shortly after service in the American Revolution, Smith owned a part stake in a sawmill and produced and traded in an array of farm products, from grains and vegetables to grain, beef, and pork. A producer of apples and owner of his own mill, he produced large quantities of cider and vinegar.

In a standard double-column account book kept somewhat erratically, Lewis Smith recorded an extensive exchange of goods and services befitting a prosperous Northamptonite. Smith sold an array of goods he produced, from apples to dairy products, grain, beef, lard, and tallow, with cider from his mill (and briefly brandy) being the most consistent producer of revenue.

Subjects

Cider industry--Massachusetts--NorthamptonFarmers--Massachusetts--NorthamptonNorthampton (Mass.)--History

Types of material

Account books
Smith, Nelson

Nelson Smith Account book

1835-1846
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 386 bd

Born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in about 1810, Nelson Smith was about thirty when he married Sallena Burnett of Granby. When Burnett’s father Bela died in 1846, Smith inherited the family farm of 125 acres, now situated on Burnett Street, where he and Sallena raised a family of at least six children. Nelson died in 1892 at the age of 81.

This slender book of accounts includes records of Smith’s financial transactions at a time in the 1830s when he was living in South Hadley, Mass. These include entries for rent, records of hiring out for work at a dairying, at Josiah W. Goodman’s brickyard (at a salary of $32 per month), or for unspecified labor. Other entries record the sale of tallow, cider, cordwood, rye, turnips, and other commodities.

Subjects

Agricultural laborers--Massachusetts--South HadleyFarming--Massachusetts--South HadleySouth Hadley (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

Burnett, Bela, 1778-

Types of material

Account books
Sommer, Mark

Mark Sommer Papers

1966-2017
13 boxes 16.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 973

Mark Sommer, with Zetta, the first newborn goat at the Sommer homestead in northern CA, May 1985

Mark Sommer is an explorer, storyteller, and award-winning public radio and print journalist focused on advocacy and narratives of social, political, and environmental change and positive action. In Washington, D.C., Sommer found himself on hand for some of the 1960s pivotal moments, where he was involved with the Liberation News Service and the New Left think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies. Sommer moved to California in 1969 to explore the counterculture, spending several years journeying – spiritually, psychedelically, and physically between communes, farms, and wilderness homesteads along the western coast – before he and his wife built a self-reliant organic homestead in the deep woods of northern CA, where they lived from the 1970s to the 1990s. The resilience of nature deeply impacted Sommer’s outlook and work as a writer and journalist, driving his interest in the human capacity for overcoming adversity. Sommer founded and directed the Mainstream Media Project, a nonprofit media placement service scheduling leading edge thinkers and social innovators for extensive radio interviews, and Sommer served as host and executive producer of the internationally syndicated and award winning, one-hour weekly radio program, A World of Possibilities. Sommer is the author of three books (Beyond the Bomb, The Conquest of War, and Living in Freedom), and hundreds of op-eds in major newspapers worldwide. Current projects include short and movie length videos crafted from his photographs, films, interviews, and experiences.

Chronicling over five decades of creative and journalistic output of a life-long explorer and progressive advocate, the Mark Sommer Papers are an extensive collection, covering Sommer’s entire career and personal life from the late 1960s to the present. Writings include personal and multiple travel journals (including a unique trip to North Vietnam in 1968), correspondence, student essays, op-eds, articles, project and grant plans, memoirs, and book manuscripts. Additional journals exist in audio format, along with radio interviews where Sommer served as a guest. Slides, photographs, and movies cover Sommer’s family and home life to his wide-ranging travels and interests. Some main topics of coverage include foreign policy and international politics, progressivism, peace and conflict studies, the anti-nuclear and disarmament movements, wilderness and back-to-the-land experiences, and later in life fatherhood. Materials from Mainstream Media Project have been separated into the Mainstream Media Project Records.

Gift of Mark Sommer, May 2017

Subjects

Antinuclear movementCounterculture--United StatesInstitute for Policy StudiesJournalists--CaliforniaNuclear disarmamentPeace--researchPeaceful change (International relations)Political activistsReconciliationSelf-reliant living--CaliforniaSustainable livingTravel writingVietnam War, 1961-1975

Types of material

ArticlesCorrespondenceDiariesMemoirsPhotographsSound recordingsVideo recordings
Tilton, Hannah

Hannah Tilton Account Book

1845-1885
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 250 bd

Born into a working class family from New Bedford, Mass., in Nov. 1829, Hannah Sisson was the daughter of a cooper Job Tilton and his wife Patience, and was raised in the multigenerational home owned by her grandparents John and Nancy Tilton. In April 1853, Hannah married George Oliver Tilton, a farmer from Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard, and moved to the island.

The first 340 pages of this daybook detail the daily transactions of a general store in New Bedford between 1845 and 1847. The store traded in very small quantities of consumable goods, ranging from a gallon of molasses to 150 crackers, a pound of butter, a peck of potatoes or apples, flour, pork, and fish. Most purchases were for less than a dollar.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987

Subjects

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

Types of material

Daybooks