North Carolina State University, College of Natural Resources, School Forests Records 1869-2014

Size
71.75 linear feet
Location

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

Call number
UA 140.045
Access to materials

Portions of this collection have restricted access; the remainder of this collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

Collection includes correspondence, administrative files, reports, legal files, logging records, photographs, and negatives, dating from 1869 - 2013. This collection documents the successful efforts of the North Carolina Forestry Foundation to acquire forest lands for North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (later North Carolina State University) for demonstration, teaching, and research while at the same time operating the forest on a profitable basis. Materials range in date from 1869-2014.

Julius V. Hofmann to set up the forestry program at North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering in 1929, one of his immediate goals was to acquire some forestland for laboratory, research, and demonstration purposes. Unable to secure funding from the university or the state of North Carolina, Hofmann determined the only recourse was to purchase the land on a self-liquidating basis. He and some of the college trustees incorporated the North Carolina Forestry Foundation on April 15, 1929, to manage and develop the Poole Woods, a 74.94 acre tract in Wake County, North Carolina, and the first forest obtained by the Foundation. Other properties the foundation has overseen include Hill Forest, Maclean Forest, and Hofmann Forest.

Biographical/historical note

In February 1929, the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (later N.C. State University) hired Dr. Julius V. Hofmann to set up a forestry program at the college. Prior to his appointment at North Carolina State College, Hofmann served as assistant director of the forestry school at Mount Alto, Pennsylvania.

One of Hofmann's immediate goals was to acquire some forest land for laboratory, research, and demonstration purposes. Unable to secure funding from the university or the state of North Carolina, Hofmann determined the only recourse was to purchase the land on a self-liquidating basis. His hope was that receipts from timber sales would pay for the land. In addition to research, he hoped the school forest would demonstrate how to operate a forest on a profitable and sustainable basis.

Hofmann, along with some trustees of North Carolina State College, incorporated the North Carolina Forestry Foundation on April 15, 1929, to manage and develop the Poole Woods, a 74.94 acre tract in Wake County, North Carolina and the first forest obtained by the Foundation. The Foundation was unable to operate the Poole Woods on a profitable basis and eventually liquidated the property in 1940 and 1941. The Foundation widened its scope to cover all lands acquired for the Department of Forestry. Other Foundation properties included the Hill Forest, near Durham, North Carolina, that the Department of Forestry received as a gift in 1930. The Forestry Foundation purchased the MacLean Forest, located in Hyde County, North Carolina, in 1932. The MacLean Forest was sold in 1942 so the Foundation could concentrate on their recently acquired land in eastern North Carolina, which became known as the Hofmann Forest.

The Hofmann Forest consists of nearly 80,000 acres of land in Jones and Onslow Counties. The Forestry Foundation completed a contract to purchase the land in 1934. The terms of the sale allowed the Foundation to pay for the land on a long-term basis, which they hoped to fund with timber sales. In 1939, the owners of the land indicated they would agree to a substantially lower purchase price if the balance were paid in cash. The Foundation obtained authorization to sell bonds in the amount of $200,000 to raise the money. The Durham Bank and Trust secured the bonds and the Foundation paid off their debt to the bank in 1983.

The Forestry Foundation was beset by conflicting claims concerning the boundaries of the Hofmann Forest. The largest of these claims was the Edward Trott suit, which lasted from 1977 to 1988. The Foundation invested substantial amounts of time, energy, and money in fighting these claims and lawsuits. Onslow and Jones Counties also participated in several property tax disputes with the Foundation. As a result of these tax disputes, the Foundation transferred ownership of Hofmann Forest to the NCSU Endowment Fund in 1977. The Foundation retained responsibility for management of the forest.

The Foundation sold timber from the Hofmann Forest to various timber and paper companies, but the bulk of their sales were made to the Halifax Paper Company of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. The Foundation entered into a 99-year contract with Halifax Paper in 1945, which gave the paper company responsibility for the development, harvesting and general management of the property. The company's initial efforts were directed toward developing a drainage and road system and harvesting over-mature timber.

Champion Timberlands later took over management of the Hofmann Forest until 1986, when Champion terminated its lease and the Land Management Committee of the Forestry Foundation assumed responsibility for the forest.

The North Carolina Forestry Foundation continues to operate the Hofmann Forest as a living research laboratory and a productive, income-producing forest with the profits benefiting the NCSU School of Forestry. The Foundation is active in fund raising and both individuals and corporations have established scholarships and professorships through the Foundation.

1929 February
Julius V. Hofmann becomes head of the Department of Forestry at North Carolina State College.
1929 April
North Carolina Forestry Foundation formed to preserve Poole Woods.
1930
Hill Forest deeded to NC State College.
1932 March
MacLean Forest purchased.
1934 August
Hofmann Forest purchased.
1935 August
Civilian Conservation Corps camp established in Hofmann Forest.
1936
Deppe Plantations laid out in Hofmann Forest.
1937 - 1945
Cattle grazing experiment takes place.
1939 December
N.C.F.F. begins selling bonds to pay off Hofmann Forest.
1940 - 1941
Poole Woods liquidated.
1942
MacLean Forest sold.
1942 February
Contract signed with Williams-McKeithan Lumber Co. to cut lumber in Hofmann Forest.
1944 November
Weather Station established.
1944 - 1962
Oil leases issued to various companies, none successful in finding oil.
1945
German Prisoners of War and laborers from Barbadoswere employed in the Hofmann Forest due to wartime labor shortages.
1945 June
N.C.F.F. signs a contract with the Halifax Paper Co. to cut lumber in the Hofmann Forest.
1946
Halifax Paper Co. buys out Williams-McKeithan Lumber Co. contract.
1949 - 1951
Grants secured to improve Quaker Bridge Road.
1950 April
The "great fire" occurred in Hofmann Forest. 47,500 acres were burned.
1956
Plots established to do continuous forest inventory (CFI).
1962 - 1963
Planting experiment in the "Big Opening" in Hofmann Forest is begun.
1963
Halifax Paper Co. merges with Albemarle Paper Co. The resulting organization was known as the Albemarle Paper Co.
1965
Complete boundary survey done by William Utley.
1965 August
Julius V. Hofmann dies.
1965 October
Colin G. Spencer, president of N.C.F.F. since 1944, dies.
1965 November
A plaque honoring J. V. Hofmann is unveiled at the Hofmann Forest.
1965
George Jackson chosen to succeed J. V. Hofmann as Manager of the Foundation.
1966
CFI plots established in Block 10. This completed the installation of a continuous inventory system for the entire Hofmann Forest.
1968
Albemarle Paper Co. purchased by the Hoerner & Waldorf Corporation.
1977
Ownership of the Hofmann Forest transferred from the N.C.F.F. to the Endowment Fund of NCSU.
1983 September
Mortgage on the Hofmann Forest is paid off.
2013 October
Hofmann Forest sold

Scope/content

This collection provides a record of the North Carolina Forestry Foundation's beginnings, acquisition of forest property for teaching and research purposes, and subsequent management of the forests. The bulk of the collection covers the years 1934 through 1986.

The General Administration series contains the Board of Directors' correspondence and J. V. Hofmann's correspondence. Also contained in this series are records pertaining to the financial and legal aspects of the Foundation and the management of the Foundation.

The collection includes writings by J. V. Hofmann, founder of the North Carolina Forestry Foundation (N.C.F.F.) and its first president. These writings contain histories of the Foundation and its forests.

The Foundation Forests series comprises the bulk of the collection, with material relating to the Hofmann Forest making up the greater part of that series. The collection has a wealth of information on forest management and timber sales. This series is rich in information on non-timber activities such as hunting, forest fires, and research undertaken in the Hofmann Forest.

The Photographs series contains color and black and white images of the Hofmann forest and forestry activities. There are many aerial views of the forest and photographs showing planting and harvesting activities. The majority of the photographs were taken between 1968 and 1977.

The first through fifth series had been processed previously. The reprocessing in 2003 involved consolidation of the correspondence files and division of a large, subject-oriented alphabetical file into the Timber Activities and Non-Timber Activities subseries in the Foundation Forests series.

Physical description

31 archival storage boxes, 25 cartons, 7 oversize boxes, 7 flat file folders

Arrangement

The collection is divided into six series. The first of these, General Administration, is concerned with the administrative, financial, and legal aspects of managing the North Carolina Forestry Foundation. The writings of J. V. Hofmann comprise the second series. The third series, Foundation Forests, contains information concerning the management of the Foundation's forests, both timber-related and non-timber activities. The fourth series contains photographs and is made up of black white negatives and photographs, color negatives and photographs, and color slides. The fifth series contains oversize items. The sixth series contains unprocessed materials acquired since the collection was processed in 2003.

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], North Carolina State University, College of Natural Resources, School Forests Records, UA 140.045, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Related material

Source of acquisition

Transferred by the North Carolina Forestry Foundation, 1998 - 2005; transferred by Karen Ciccone, 2013.

The entire collection, including materials not available online, may be viewed in the Special Collections reading room in D.H. Hill Library.

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], North Carolina State University, College of Natural Resources, School Forests Records, UA 140.045, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.