H I S T O R I C A L T I M E L I N E :
1 8 7 0 s - 1 8 8 0 s
1873 - North Carolina State Fairgrounds moves to Hillsboro (now Hillsborough) Street
Organizers of the North Carolina State Fair move the fair out of town, opposite from the current site of North Carolina State University.
1875 - North Carolina establishes a State Department of Agriculture
North Carolina holds a Constitutional Convention to amend the North Carolina State constitution. The amendment calls for the establishment of a State Department of Agriculture. The new department gives farmers a strong foundation on which to build their increasing interests. It passes with little opposition.
March 1877 - North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station is established
The bill,"An Act to Establish a Department of Agriculture, Immigration and Statistics, and for the Encouragement of Sheep Husbandry," passes. This bill also establishes the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station, the second in the country. The Agricultural Experiment Station has two objectives. The first is"to analyze such fertilizers and products as may be required by the Department of Agriculture, and to aid so far as practicable in suppressing fraud in the sale of commercial fertilizers." The second objective is to"carry on experiments on the nutrition and growth of plants, with a view to ascertain what fertilizers are best suited to the various crops of this State, and whether other crops may be advantageously grown on its soils, and shall carry on such other investigations as the said Department may direct."
March 12, 1877 - Albert Ledoux selected as first head of the Experiment Station
The Board of Agriculture meets and elects Dr. Albert Ledoux as"an analyst skilled in agricultural chemistry." His election officially establishes the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station, which will be located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
June 1877 - Albert Ledoux publishes the first results of tests performed by the Agricultural Experiment Station
Dr. Ledoux releases his analyses of 23 of 29 brands of fertilizer in the state. The Poppleine Silicated Phosphate Fertilizer Company of Baltimore, Maryland makes the only serious complaint of the results, claiming the silica in their fertilizer should be given a commercial value. Dr. Ledoux receives four tons of fertilizer from the company to perform a test under field conditions.
1879 - First field test for the Agricultural Experiment Station
The Experiment Station performs the first field experiments in North Carolina.
The test involves the fertilizer from the Poppleine Silicated Phosphate Fertilizer Company. Several farms in the Chapel Hill area are used to perform the test. Using multiple farms allows the fertilizer to be tried on a variety of soils and crops. The results supplied from the farmers were not conclusive, although fertilizers containing ammonia had higher yields than the Poppleine.
Fall 1881 - The North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station moves to Raleigh
The Board of Agriculture purchases land to move the Agricultural Experiment Station to Raleigh.
May 26, 1884 - The Watauga Club is founded
The Watauga Club consisted of a group of men tired of the"laziness" they perceived in their State. They worked to enlighten North Carolinians about the necessity of practical, technical education in the State. The group proposed a new school that would be located in Raleigh and associated with the State Department of Agriculture.
1885 - The Agricultural Experiment Station gains its own testing grounds
Charles W. Dabney, Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station wants to expand the work of the Station beyond testing fertilizers. The Board of Agriculture purchases 10 acres of land adjoining the State Fair Grounds and the State Agricultural Society gave the use of 25 acres to the Agricultural Experiment Station. This land is used as a laboratory, not as a model farm. The Experiment Station land allows for testing of fertilizers, crops, and the improvement of worn out soil. Visitors to the State Fair could see the various testing at the Experiment Station.
1886 - Leonidas Lafayette Polk begins publishing The Progressive Farmer
The Progressive Farmer, a magazine focused on practical advice for farmers, continues publication and is the largest magazine devoted to framing in the United States in 1999.
March 2, 1887 - United State Congress passes the Hatch Act.
The passage of the Hatch Act by the United States Congress allows for an annual appropriation of $15,000 to each State for the establishment and maintenance of an Agricultural Experiment Station. North Carolina accepts the provisions of the Federal Act, and directs the funds"shall be devoted, under the direction of the Board of Agriculture, to the maintenance of the Agricultural Experiment Station."
March 7, 1887 - North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts founded.
The North Carolina legislature passes a bill creating the Agricultural and Mechanical College to be located in Raleigh. The teaching of agriculture and mechanic arts moved from the University at Chapel Hill to the new institution. This bill also passed control of the Agricultural Experiment Station from the Board of Agriculture to the Board of Trustees of the A & M College as soon as the physical facilities would permit.
October 1889 - North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts opens. Alexander Quarles Holladay is appointed President of the College. Tuition is fixed at $20 a year."Students should be 14 years of age, have good moral character, and a good understanding on English, North Carolina history, and arithmetic through fractions."
December 1889 - The Experiment Station is transferred to North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.