Personal tools
You are here: Home Museum Early Days of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station Arboretum and Campus Beautification Project

Early Days of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station

Established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1886, the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station was located on the 283 acre campus of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (VAMC) (later named Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), and today - Virginia Tech).

Arboretum and Campus Beautification Project

Colonel Harry Downing Temple documented much of the tree planting activity on the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (VAMC) campus in volume one (1872-1900) of his chronology of cadet life there (Bugle's Echo). Temple stated that "Between 1891 and 1894, more than a 1,000 additional trees were planted on the campus. Spruces and junipers were set out in front of the two Academic Buildings and maples were placed in rows to shade the roads. The row of maples from the First Academic Building was extended to the Old Mill at the foot of campus. Professor Alwood of the Horticulture Department took over the project and set out a line of saplings for each side of Faculty Row road." Other evidence in the archives proves that Alwood's work included the addition of a diverse selection of species to fill in many of the areas on campus. As these trees matured what is today the campus Drillfield was filled with trees. There is no doubt that the expansion of species and careful documentation of trees on campus were more than just a beautification project to Alwood. This was the college's first arboretum. The timing of Alwood taking over the tree plantings corresponds with his planting of the Alwood Oak in 1895 (see below under tree #66 and on our website (alwoodoak.info). The arboretum work continued until Alwood left VPI in 1904. From 1902 to 1903, Professor Alwood photographed the plantings of over 100 trees. Professor Alwood likely used the large station camera seen in several photographs from the period. He documented the plantings in a collection of 80 photos, a hand-written key, and a typed key of notes which were later (1932) sent to Dean Harvey Price from Alwood. The photographs also document Alwood's love for terrier dogs. His dogs appear in several of the photographs and in a photograph many years later, Professor Alwood poses with another Jack Russell type terrier. Today, the arboretum photographs and notes (see below) are preserved in the A.B. Massey collection in the Virginia Tech Newman Library Special Collections.

This was the college's first arboretum. The timing of Alwood taking over the tree plantings corresponds with his planting of the Alwood Oak in 1895 (see below under tree #66 and on our website (alwoodoak.info). The arboretum work continued until Alwood left VPI in 1904. From 1902 to 1903, Professor Alwood photographed the plantings of over 100 trees. Professor Alwood likely used the large station camera seen in several photographs from the period. He documented the plantings in a collection of 80 photos, a hand-written key, and a typed key of notes which were later (1932) sent to Dean Harvey Price from Alwood. The photographs also document Alwood's love for terrier dogs. His dogs appear in several of the photographs and in a photograph many years later, Professor Alwood poses with another Jack Russell type terrier. Today, the arboretum photographs and notes (see below) are preserved in the A.B. Massey collection in the Virginia Tech Newman Library Special Collections.

 

Photo #
Handwritten Notes
Typed Notes
Photo
1  Notes 1 to 3 Photos 1 to 3   
2      
3     Alwood Photo No. 3
4  Notes 4 to 5 Photos 4 to 5  Alwood Photo No. 4
5     Alwood Photo No. 5
6  Notes 6 to 8   Alwood Photo No. 6
7    Photos 7 to 10 Alwood Photo No. 7
8     Alwood Photo No. 8
9 Notes 9 to 11    Alwood Photo No. 9
10     Alwood Photo No. 10
11   Photos 11 to 15  Alwood Photo No. 11
12  Notes 12 to 14   Alwood Photo No. 12
13     Alwood Photo No. 13
14     Alwood Photo No. 14
15  Notes 15 to 18   Alwood Photo No. 15
16    Photos 16 to 22 Alwood Photo No. 16
17     Alwood Photo No. 17
18     Alwood Photo No. 18
19 Notes 19 to 22    Alwood Photo No. 19
20     Alwood Photo No. 20
21     Alwood Photo No. 21
22     Alwood Photo No. 22
23  Notes 23 to 26  Photos 23 to 29 Alwood Photo No. 23
24     Alwood Photo No. 24
25     Alwood Photo No. 25
26     Alwood Photo No. 26
27 Notes 27 to 30    Alwood Photo No. 27
28     Alwood Photo No. 28
29     Alwood Photo No. 29
30    Photos 30 to 35 Alwood Photo No. 30
 31  Notes 31 to 34   Alwood Photo No. 31
 32     Alwood Photo No. 32
 33     Alwood Photo No. 33
 34     Alwood Photo No. 34
 35  Notes 35 to 39   Alwood Photo No. 35
 36    Photos 36 to 43 Alwood Photo No. 36
 37     Alwood Photo No. 37
 38     Alwood Photo No. 38
 39     Alwood Photo No. 39
 40  Notes 40 to 44   Alwood Photo No. 40
 41     Alwood Photo No. 41
 42     Alwood Photo No. 42
 43     Alwood Photo No. 43
 44    Photos 44 to 50 Alwood Photo No. 44
 45  Notes 45 to 49   Alwood Photo No. 45
 46     Alwood Photo No. 46
 47     Alwood Photo No. 47
 48     Alwood Photo No. 48
 49     Alwood Photo No. 49
 50  Notes 50 to 54   Alwood Photo No. 50
 51    Photos 51 to 57 Alwood Photo No. 51
 52     Alwood Photo No. 52
 53     Alwood Photo No. 53
 54     Alwood Photo No. 54
 55  Notes 55 to 60   Alwood Photo No. 55
 56     Alwood Photo No. 56
 57     Alwood Photo No. 57
 58    Photos 58 to 65 Alwood Photo No. 58
 59     Alwood Photo No. 59
 60     Alwood Photo No. 60
 61  Notes 61 to 65   Alwood Photo No. 61
 62     Alwood Photo No. 62
 63      
 64     Alwood Photo No. 64
 65     Alwood Photo No. 65
 66  Notes for 66 to 75  Photos 66 to 72 Alwood Photo No. 66
 67     Alwood Photo No. 67
 68     Alwood Photo No. 68
 69     Alwood Photo No. 69
 70     Alwood Photo No. 70
 71 Notes 71 to 75    Alwood Photo No. 71
 72     Alwood Photo No. 72
 73   Photos 73 to 78  Alwood Photo No. 73
 74     Alwood Photo No. 74
 75     Alwood Photo No. 75
 76  Notes 76 to 80   Alwood Photo No. 76
 77     Alwood Photo No. 77
 78     Alwood Photo No. 78
 79    Photos 79 to 80 Alwood Photo No. 79
 80     Alwood Photo No. 80

     
       

 

Document Actions
cals logo VCE logo