“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shorter in Macon County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)

Prairie Farms Resettlement Community

Prairie Farms Resettlement Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 12, 2013
1. Prairie Farms Resettlement Community Marker
Inscription. (obverse)
Beginning in the mid-1930s during the Great Depression, the federal New Deal promoted Land Resettlement to move farmers across the nation off worn out soil to new farmland. The Resettlement Administration, and its successor the Farm Security Administration, established one of these experimental planned communities here in west Macon County, the all-African American “Prairie Farms.” With more than 3,100 acres from two plantations purchased by the federal government, the resettlement plan included 34 farms, a community pasture, a community center and school, a store, and a home-site for the project manager. The Prairie Farms Resettlement Project included four local families and 30 families from the Tuskegee Planned Land Use Demonstration in east Macon County. Each farmstead had a new house with electricity, a drilled well and sanitary privy, a barn, stable, poultry house, vegetable house, and pig pen. Project manager Coleman Camp directed the diversified agricultural program based on livestock, especially hogs, vegetables, and hay and away from dependence on cotton.
(Continued on other side)
(Continued from other side)
The resettlement farmers organized the Prairie Farms Cooperative Association in June of 1937 and operated a store, canning plant,
Reverse of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 12, 2013
2. Reverse of Marker
feed and grist mill, hay baler, tractor and plows, mowing machine and cane mill. It provided farmers a way to buy equipment and supplies, market crops and livestock, and gin cotton cooperatively. The association managed the community pasture and cattle herd. The Tuskegee Institute Prairie Farms Laboratory School, headed by Principal Deborah Cannon (Wolfe), provided education for the surrounding community. The school, supported by Tuskegee Institute faculty and students, consisted of a five-room building for grades 1-9, along with home economics facilities, a farm shop with tools, a health center equipped for examinations and treatment, a teachers’ cottage, a barn, and a playground. The school doubled as a community center and a site for evening adult education and vocational classes. From 1944-1951, the U.S. Government sold all of the farm units to private owners.
Erected 2012 by Dr. Robert Zabawa, Tuskegee University.
Location. 32° 22.949′ N, 85° 59.403′ W. Marker is in Shorter, Alabama, in Macon County. Marker is at the intersection of Auburn Street (U.S. 80) and Tysonville Road (County Highway 97), on the left when traveling north on Auburn Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 45 Tysonville Road, Shorter AL 36075, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.
Prairie Farms Recreation Center image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 12, 2013
3. Prairie Farms Recreation Center
At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lucas Tavern (approx. 3.2 miles away); The Oaks Plantation (approx. 3.7 miles away); George Stiggins (approx. 3.9 miles away); Shorter, Alabama (approx. 4 miles away); Lucas Hill Cemetery (approx. 4.2 miles away); Brewer Memorial Church (approx. 5.7 miles away); Grace Episcopal Church (approx. 6.4 miles away); Pioneer Trail of Methodism (approx. 6.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Shorter.
Also see . . .  Prairie Farms Resettlement Community. The Encyclopedia of Alabama (Submitted on August 23, 2013, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.) 
Categories. African AmericansAgricultureSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 488 times since then and 98 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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