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Identifier: RG-18-A3-01

Records of the College Farm


  • 1807, 1864-1928
  • Majority of material found within 1864 - 1928

Scope and Content Note

The records of the College Farm reflects its history with some important primary materials, such as Indenture draft; College Farm Superintendent Reports (1896-1912), including the report of 1906-1907 that contains a special part as historical recall of College farm since 1896; letters to Head of the Farm; and a History of Ownership of College Farm (1707-1928). Also included in the records are those that pertain to the financial affairs during the early history of college farm, such as six account books (1871-1895), receipts for sales of farm products (milk or crops), and payment records and accounts for services and supplies to the College Farm 1864-1874.


0.8 Cubic Feet (.8 cubic feet.)

Language of Materials


Administrative History

In 1864, College Farm was purchased by the Board of Trustees of the State Agricultural College. It comprised of 98.4 acres (several years later six acres were given over to the city for a reservoir, additional 5 acres were purchased in 1870, bringing the area to 97.4 acres). In 1865, L. H. Tucker was placed in charge of the farm. Beginning April 1, 1865, J. H. Knight was employed as the first farm manager. Tucker resigned in 1866. Dr. George H. Cook took charge of supervision until his death in September, 1889. From 1874-1886, Theodore West was the farm manager. The early development of College Farm was focused on three goals. The first goal was to create a model farm, which took only 10 years of tedious and costly effort. The second goal was to establish a paying farm business, which became realized in 1874 with an income of more than $4000 from produce sold. The last goal was to use the farm for experimental work. Between 1867-1880, a variety of research was conducted on the College Farm. Dr. Cook realized that an oncoming program of investigations would require additional funds. After several years of struggle, a bill was passed by Committee on Agriculture (which is appointed by the Board of Visitors in 1876) to establish an Agricultural Experiment Station in 1880 for the benefit of practical and scientific agriculture, and for the development of unimproved lands. The College Farm was chosen as the most suitable site for the station, because experimental work had been underway there for 15 years. Dr. Cook served as the first Director. By the efforts of Cook, Congress passed a law establishing a Federal Experiment Station at each of the State Agricultural Colleges on March 2, 1887. The New Jersey legislature approved to establish the Agricultural College Experimental Station at the Rutgers Scientific School. Two experimental stations came to be located at New Brunswick--the State Station, under the control of the Board of Managers, and supported by state funds; and the Federal (or College) Station, which was administered by the Board of Trustees under the general supervision and control of the State Board of Visitors, and funded from Federal sources. Cook was appointed as Director of the College Station. Upon the death of Cook, James Nelson became the acting director of both Stations until May, 1893. On April 20, 1893, Edward B. Voorhees was appointed Director of the State Station. Dr. Austin Scott was named as Director of College Station. Voorhees entered into a contract with two Stations that College Farm should be used by both of the Stations for the purpose of experiment, therefore, all expense to be borne by the Stations. Voorhees had controlled the experiment and management of the Farm. In 1888, Benjamin C. Sears was appointed Farm Superintendent for 5 years. On April 1, 1893, Elish A. Jones became the Superintendent until April 1, 1896, when the offices of Superintendent of the Farm and Director of Station were combined. To clarify the situation that College Farm belonged to the College, but it was needed and used by the State Experimental Station, it was inserted in the State Station Bulletin: "The Trustees of the College give the State Station the use of 7 acres of land for experiments in Horticulture and Botany, and the remainder of the farm (90 acres), for experiments in Dairying. The income from the dairy pays for the labor and maintenance of the farm, and in part for dairy experiments." Under Dr.Voorhees' supervision the farm steadily increased fertility, productive power, profits, and service to the Station. It became the only farm in the country that even made an attempt to conduct experiments while paying the expenses from its income. The farm came to be regarded more and more as a demonstration in modern agricultural methods and attracted an increase of visitors from year to year. The annual field day and the farmer's week began respectively in 1906 and 1908. Important additions of 45 acres to the farm were acquired between 1905 and 1907 from six individual persons. Jacob G. Lipman succeed Voorhees in 1911 as the head of the experimental stations and the farm. During his administration, the land increased to 535 acres in 1930 and major buildings and facilities were built on the farm. The College Farm continued to operate as an independent unit, fiscally distinct from the Experiment Station. It served as an auxiliary to the research program, and has gradually become less of a "model" farm, but more of a service branch of the institution.

Reference Woodward and Waller, New Jersey's Agricultural Experiment Station 1880-1930.

Arrangement Note

The records of the College Farm are organized into two series.

Series I: Ownership of the College Farm Series II: Financial Records

The records of the College Farm are organized into two series.

Missing Title

  1. Ownership of the College Farm
  2. Financial Records
Inventory of the Records of the College Farm
Edited Full Draft
Sarah Malcolm
November 10, 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note

Part of the Rutgers University Archives Repository

Rutgers University Libraries
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