north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program
 

 
 
 

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Essay:
     Following the Civil War Quakers in sizable numbers left piedmont North Carolina for the Midwest. The route followed by many passed through Baltimore, where a group of Friends organized in 1865 sponsored efforts to help their southern brethren be self-sustaining. The Baltimore Association sponsored schools (forty-four in North Carolina) and set up a demonstration farm near High Point.

     In 1867 the Baltimore Association purchased the former Nathan Hunt farm, paying $4,440, of which $700 was raised locally by members of the nearby Springfield Friends Meeting. On those 200 acres the Quakers constructed barns and other buildings and promoted the use of fertilizers, registered livestock, selected grasses and seed, and improved farming implements such as mowing machines, hay rakes, grain drills, and seed hullers. They converted a gristmill into a bone mill, said to be the first in the South, to produce fertilizer from animal bones. In his annual reports, superintendent William Sampson, formerly of Maine, reflected upon the wide influence of the Model Farm. In 1871 he reported that “a large number of people from all parts of the State continued to visit the farm to see for themselves the new way.” The effect was to help stem the tide of westward migration and to stimulate agricultural production among Quakers and non-Quakers alike.

     Governor Jonathan Worth, a native of Randolph County, hailed the work at the Model Farm, aided their efforts to incorporate, and is said to have called the site “the only green spot” in the state. In 1891 the Baltimore Association was dissolved, the farm sold, and the proceeds used to aid Guilford College. A dairy operated at the site until the mid-1940s when the property was developed. A small museum at Springfield church preserves some of the farming implements.


References:
Autobiography of Allen Jay (1910)
J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, ed., Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, (1909), II, 1050-1051
Francis Charles Anscombe, I Have Called You Friends: The Story of Quakerism in North Carolina (1959)
American Friend, January 13, 1955
Blackwell Robinson and Alexander Stoesen, The History of Guilford County (1980)
High Point Enterprise, June 26, 1960
Greensboro News & Record, January 2, 1995
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north carolina highway historical marker program


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