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After the Fall: Deforestation and the Rise of New South Fruit Farming, 1880-1930

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Abstract:

Between 1880 and 1920, roughly half of the longleaf pine stands in the southeastern U.S. vanished from the landscape. Industrial turpentining and its shadow, industrial lumbering, wrecked havoc on a once contiguous landscape that stretched from Virginia to Texas. In their wake, denuded lands profited local people little. The same engines that brought northern capital and northern lumbermen to the coastal pinelands, however, also brought incentives to use the cutover in novel ways. Small fruit farming, in particular, sprouted all along rail-lines and in the barren lands left by roving timber companies. The forest’s sandy soils proved well suited to intensive fruit production and communities left reeling from the loss of steady employment blossomed with the opportunities afforded by truck agriculture.

One such town was Chadbourn, North Carolina. Without trees to cut and logs to haul, people in and around Chadbourn had to move to timber towns further south or return to farming elsewhere. Diminishing timber stocks throughout the coastal south also forced rail companies to seek other ways to make their hauling businesses profitable. Small fruit farming provided a way for cleared lands to be put to use, for farmers to grow cash crops on smaller acreages, and for railroads to continue to operate at a profit. In Chadbourn, the Chicago-based magazine Farm, Field, and Fireside invested the capital needed to develop a strawberry farming community named the Sunny South Colony. State intervention, insect infestation, labor migrations, and other forces, however, worked to ensure that capital’s best laid plans could not last forever, and another iteration of investment and land-use would replace the cutover strawberry landscape in Chadbourn and other towns throughout the coastal south.
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Name: ASEH Annual Conference
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http://aseh.net


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1168970_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Roberts, Stacy. "After the Fall: Deforestation and the Rise of New South Fruit Farming, 1880-1930" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1168970_index.html>

APA Citation:

Roberts, S. N. "After the Fall: Deforestation and the Rise of New South Fruit Farming, 1880-1930" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1168970_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Between 1880 and 1920, roughly half of the longleaf pine stands in the southeastern U.S. vanished from the landscape. Industrial turpentining and its shadow, industrial lumbering, wrecked havoc on a once contiguous landscape that stretched from Virginia to Texas. In their wake, denuded lands profited local people little. The same engines that brought northern capital and northern lumbermen to the coastal pinelands, however, also brought incentives to use the cutover in novel ways. Small fruit farming, in particular, sprouted all along rail-lines and in the barren lands left by roving timber companies. The forest’s sandy soils proved well suited to intensive fruit production and communities left reeling from the loss of steady employment blossomed with the opportunities afforded by truck agriculture.

One such town was Chadbourn, North Carolina. Without trees to cut and logs to haul, people in and around Chadbourn had to move to timber towns further south or return to farming elsewhere. Diminishing timber stocks throughout the coastal south also forced rail companies to seek other ways to make their hauling businesses profitable. Small fruit farming provided a way for cleared lands to be put to use, for farmers to grow cash crops on smaller acreages, and for railroads to continue to operate at a profit. In Chadbourn, the Chicago-based magazine Farm, Field, and Fireside invested the capital needed to develop a strawberry farming community named the Sunny South Colony. State intervention, insect infestation, labor migrations, and other forces, however, worked to ensure that capital’s best laid plans could not last forever, and another iteration of investment and land-use would replace the cutover strawberry landscape in Chadbourn and other towns throughout the coastal south.


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