Charles Dearing Papers 1900-1963

Creator
Dearing, Charles
Size
7 linear feet
Location

off-site

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00166

The Charles Dearing Papers contains correspondence, research materials, and data gathered over Dearing's forty-year career. As Director of the Coastal Plain Test Farm in Willard, North Carolina, Dearing oversaw experiments on grapes, strawberries, and bluberries. The collection contains pollination records, field reports, vineyard reports, nursery lists, samples and block notes. Dearing's research was primarily focused on grape research, especially of the muscadine variety.

As Director of the Coastal Plain Test Farm in Willard, North Carolina, Charles Dearing oversaw experiments on grapes, strawberries, and blueberries. Dearing developed new varieties of muscadine grapes and did research that boosted berry and grape production in North Carolina.

Biographical/historical note

Charles Dearing was born in Wichita, Kansas, on March 28, 1888. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Missouri in 1909. Upon graduation, he worked as an Instructor of Horticulture at Missouri, where he remained for a year. He subsequently accepted a position as a Scientific Assistant at the United States Department of Agriculture in 1910. He worked in this position until 1918 when he became a horticulturist. During those years, he was engaged in research work with muscadine variety grape production in the Southern states and spent much time supervising experimental projects at the Agricultural Experiment Station Coastal Plain Test Farm in Willard, North Carolina. In 1920, he became Assistant Director in charge of the farm.

Dearing came to North Carolina as a representative of the United States Department of Agriculture, but he soon joined the State Department of Agriculture. He was a pioneer in developing improved varieties of muscadine grapes, strawberries, and blueberries. Under his administration, the Coastal Plain Test Farm grew in size from 232 to 411.5 acres and added new buildings and equipment. The primary subject of Dearing's research was developing the muscadine and other varieties of grapes for agricultural production. He experimented with breeding pollination, methods of cultivation, and creating new varieties. In addition to grapes, he worked with such agricultural products as strawberries and blueberries.

Dearing directed early experiments in muscadine grape breeding and introduced 15 new varieties. He also wrote a memorandum which led to the first research work in commercial blueberry production for eastern North Carolina. In addition, he assisted in strawberry research and contributed to the development of the Blakemore and Massey varieties. During his career he wrote twelve books on the utilization of the muscadine grape. Dearing retired from his position after thirty years of service on June 30, 1951, replaced by Jesse E. Sumner.

Scope/content

This collection includes correspondence, research notes and data, reports, publications, and photographs. The correspondence consists mainly of letters between Charles Dearing and members of the United States Department of Agriculture, primarily E. C. Auchter, Chief of the Office of Horticultural Plants and Diseases, and George M. Darrow (1889-1983), USDA Senior Pomologist. The bulk of this material concerns the muscadine grape research that was taking place in Willard, North Carolina.

Subject files include material on the history of the grape, packaging methods and publications. In addition, a section on strawberries contains announcements, recipes, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and research data.

Most of the collection contains research data from the experimental vineyard in Willard. The types of information include pollination records, plantings, breeding varieties, hybrids, inventories, nursery lists, and general notes.

Physical description

14 archival storage box

Arrangement

This collection consists of three series. The Correspondence series contains letters arranged chronologically. The documents are subdivided into two groups, according to the person with whom Dearing corresponded. The Subject Series are arranged under four subject headings: history of grapes, packaging, publications, and strawberries. The third series, Research Data, contains a number of subseries, which are arranged in subseries chronologically, by the location of crop in the field, or by subject.

  • Auchter, E. C. (Eugene Curtis), 1889-1952
  • Darrow, George M. (George McMillan), 1889-
  • Dearing, Charles
  • Grapes--Breeding
  • Grapes--Research--North Carolina
  • Grapes--Varieties--North Carolina
  • Grapes--Packaging
  • Magoon, C. A.
  • Muscadine grape--Research--North Carolina
  • Muscadine grape--United States--History
  • Schoenhals, E. C.
  • Strawberries--Research--North Carolina

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles Dearing Papers, MC 00166, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Related material

Source of acquisition

Transferred from the Agricultural School, Horticulture Science Department on April 18, 1983.

Transferred from the Agricultural School, Horticulture Science Department on April 18, 1983.

The collection is organized into three principal series:

Correspondence 1924-1963
Size: 0.65 linear feet

The Correspondence series is arranged chronologically in two groups. The first group of general correspondence, 1928-1935, is primarily with Dr. Auchter, Chief of the Office of Horticultural Plants and Disease, and Mr. C. E. Schoenhals, the Senior Administrative Assistant at the Office of Horticultural Plants and Disease. The second group, 1924-1963, is between Dearing and George M. Darrow, Senior Pomologist of the USDA. Most of the correspondence was concerning research about strawberries at Willard and the strawberry industry in general. After Dearing retired in 1951, there are a few letters between his successor, Jesse W. Sumner, and George Darrow.

1.3 archival boxes

General 1928-1951
[no date]
Box 1, Folder 1
1928-1929
Box 1, Folder 2
1930
Box 1, Folder 3
1931
Box 1, Folder 4
1932
Box 1, Folder 5
1933
Box 1, Folder 6
1934
Box 1, Folder 7
1935-1951
Box 1, Folder 8
Darrow-Dearing 1924-1963
1924-1927
Box 1, Folder 9
1928
Box 1, Folder 10
1929
Box 1, Folder 11
1930
Box 1, Folder 12
1931-1932
Box 1, Folder 13
1935
Box 2, Folder 1
1936-1937
Box 2, Folder 2
1938-1941
Box 2, Folder 3
1941-1963
Box 2, Folder 4
Subject Files
Size: 0.15 linear feet

The Subject files consist of four folders: history of grapes, packaging, publications, and strawberries. The history of grapes folder contains a group of index cards that describe various types of grapes and their history. The packaging folder includes a letter, envelope, brochure and samples from the Elkin and Hall Company, pertaining to the packaging of berries. The publications folder contains promotions, newspaper clippings, and pamphlets regarding the muscadine grape industry and Charles Dearing. It also includes pamphlets written by Charles Dearing for the USDA Farmers' Bulletin, cards from the Atlantic Coast Line promoting muscadine grape jelly, and newspaper clippings about the North Carolina grape industry. In the strawberries folder, there are announcements of Strawberry Day, recipes, newspaper clippings, correspondence, research data, and an outline from the Strawberry Research Conference.

0.3 archival boxes

History
Box 2, Folder 5
Packaging
Box 2, Folder 6
Publications
Box 2, Folder 7
Strawberries
Box 2, Folder 8
Research Data 1904-1951
Size: 6.2 linear feet

The Research Data series is the result of agricultural experiments that took place at the Coastal Plain Test Farm at Willard. The Research is focused on grape research, especial the muscadine and scuppernong varieties. Individual portions are arranged chronologically, by the location of the crop in the field, or by subject. Dearing's original arrangement of the research data has been maintained, despite occasional overlap of data.

The Early Grape Research subseries consists of early grape research completed by both Charles Dearing and his predecessor E. F. Cole. Cole conducted the earliest research between 1904 and 1910. There is material regarding the history and culture of the scuppernong grape, and the introduction of the muscadine grape in North Carolina. With the research notes, there are also maps, investigation reports, field reports, memorandums, contracts, vineyard location notes, nursery lists, and a small sample of grape seeds. Dearing took over the research in 1910 and completed experiments and official reports on the muscadinia investigations. He also wrote reports on the different trips he took in the Southeast, including New Smyrna, Florida.

The Pocket Notes subseries consists of 206 pocket sized notebooks, arranged chronologically. The notebooks, which contain grape research data from 1905 to 1921, have data on grape vines, parentage, pollination methods, condition of the vines, characteristics, and general notes.

The Series-Section Notes are organized according to location of Dearing's research in the field. The information includes date of description, seedling cross, flower cluster, flowers, fruit cluster, berries, seeds, and remarks.

The Block Notes contain research organized by areas of land called blocks. Information is organized by block number, then arranged chronologically. Notes about individual and multiple blocks are included, as is material about distributions, pollinations, plantings, inventories, and nursery lists. Additional block notes can be found in the C.A. Magoon subseries of the Research Data series.

The Correlation Number subseries consists of two folders of information about the quality of different grapes. The first folder, from September and October 1913, contains charts on different grapes, and the correlation between the diameter of the berry and the number of seeds. The second folder consists of a chart tracing the berries per cluster-frequency distribution from September 1920. Also included is a chart on the best quality seedling of muscadine vines from September 30, 1919.

The C.A. Magoon Notes consist of research material and seminar notes, including muscadine grape investigations, varietal vineyard reports, and block notes prepared by Magoon. There are also handwritten seminar notes, hybrid charts, and information on cuttings, pollinations, seed listings, and plantings.

The Photographs subseries contains 28 photographs documenting Dearing's grape research from seedlings to mature vines.

12.4 archival boxes

Early Grape Research
Up to 1904
Box 2, Folder 9
Research, Notes, and Reports of E. F. Cole 1905-1909
1905-1906
Box 2, Folder 10
1906
Box 2, Folder 11
1907
Box 2, Folder 12
1908
Box 3, Folder 1
1909
Box 3, Folder 2
Research of Charles Dearing 1910-1911
1910
Box 3, Folder 3
1911
Box 3, Folder 4
Reports on Muscadine Grapes 1910-1911
1911
Box 3, Folder 5
1912
Box 3, Folder 6
January 1913-November 1913
Box 3, Folder 7
Report of Trip by Charles Dearing December 1913
Box 3, Folder 8
Reports of Charles Dearing 1914-1938
Box 3, Folder 9
Reports of Muscadinia Investigations 1912-1914
November 1912-November 1913
Box 3, Folder 10
November 1913-November 1914
Box 3, Folder 11
Pocket Notes 1905-1921
Notebooks 1905-1911
Box 4
Notebooks 1912
Box 5
Notebooks 1912-1913
Box 6
Notebooks 1913-1914
Box 7
Notebooks 1914-1915
Box 8
Notebooks 1915-1917
Box 9
Notebooks 1917-1919
Box 10
Notebooks 1919-1921
Box 11
Series-Section Notes 1909-1921
Parent Vines 1908-1918
Box 12, Folder 1
Series 3
Section 1, Row A1-C14
Box 12, Folder 2
Section 2, Row C15-E18
Box 12, Folder 3
Section 3, Row E19-F12
Box 12, Folder 3
Section 3, Row F13-G35
Box 12, Folder 4
Section 4, Row H1-I35
Box 12, Folder 5
Section 5, Row J1-L46
Box 12, Folder 6
Section 6, Row M1-O22
Box 12, Folder 7
Section 6, Row 023-Q59
Box 12, Folder 8
Series 4, Plat 3, Section 6, Number 1-57
Box 12, Folder 9
Series 6
Plat I, Section 3, E19 x O21, Number 1-59
Box 12, Folder 10
Plat I, Section 4, D1-G10
Box 12, Folder 11
Section 5, Number 1-2
Box 12, Folder 12
Section 5, Plat 1, G, H
Box 12, Folder 12
Plat I, Section 7, H 1-6
Box 12, Folder 12
Plat I, Section 8, Trellis I-K
Box 12, Folder 13
Series 8
Plat II, Section 6, Trellis J1-138
Box 12, Folder 14
Plat III, Section 6, Trellis A1-85
Box 12, Folder 15
Plat III, Section 6, Trellis A86-139, Trellis B1-58
Box 13, Folder 1
Series 9
Section 1, Note # 33-1 to 33-8
Box 13, Folder 2
Section 2, Note # 33-1 to 33-5
Box 13, Folder 2
Section 3, Note # 33-1 to 33-20
Box 13, Folder 2
Section 4, Note # 33-1 to 34-15
Box 13, Folder 2
Section 5, Note # 34-1 to 34-5
Box 13, Folder 2
Section 6, Note # 34-1
Box 13, Folder 2
Section 7, Note # 34-1 to 34-25
Box 13, Folder 2
Section 8, Note # 34-1 to 35-4
Box 13, Folder 2
Series 10
Section 1, Note # 35-1
Box 13, Folder 3
Section 2, Note # 35-1 to 35-2
Box 13, Folder 3
Section 3, Note # 35-1 to 35-45
Box 13, Folder 3
Section 3, Note # 35-46 to 35-59
Box 13, Folder 4
Section 4, Note # 35-1 to 35-6
Box 13, Folder 4
Section 5, Note # 35-1 to 35-2
Box 13, Folder 4
Section 6, Note # 35-1 to 35-25
Box 13, Folder 4
Section 7, Note # 36-1 to 36-11
Box 13, Folder 4
Section 9, Note # 38-1 to 38-60
Box 13, Folder 5
Section 9, Note # 38-61 to 38-91
Box 13, Folder 5
Section 10, Note # 39-1 to 40-135
Box 13, Folder 6
Block Notes 1918-1951
Individual Block Data
# 1, 3, 4, 6, 7
Box 13, Folder 7
# 8, 9
Box 13, Folder 8
# 10
Box 13, Folder 9
# 10
Box 13, Folder 10
# 11
Box 13, Folder 11
Multiple Block Data
1918-1939
Box 13, Folder 12
[no date] 1940-1951,
Box 13, Folder 13
Miscellaneous Data
Box 13, Folder 14
Correlation Numbers 1913-1920
1913
Box 14, Folder 1
1919-1920
Box 14, Folder 2
C. A. Magoon Research
Muscadine Grape Research
Box 14, Folder 3
Seminar Notes
Box 14, Folder 4
Research
Box 14, Folder 5
Muscadine Grape Investigations
Blocks 3, 4
Box 14, Folder 6
Block 6
Box 14, Folder 7
Block 8
Box 14, Folder 8
Block 10
Box 14, Folder 9
Grape Photographs
Box 14, Folder 10

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles Dearing Papers, MC 00166, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.