“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.
Photographed 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.
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The resettlement farmers organized the Prairie Farms Cooperative Association in June of 1937 and operated a store, canning plant, 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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansAgricultureSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities series list. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1937.
Reverse of Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 12, 2013
2. Reverse of Marker
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. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 45 Tysonville Road, Shorter AL 36075, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shorter.
Also see . . .  Prairie Farms Resettlement Community. The Encyclopedia of Alabama entry (Submitted on August 23, 2013, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.) 
Prairie Farms Recreation Center image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 12, 2013
3. Prairie Farms Recreation Center
Credits. This page was last revised on October 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 22, 2013, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,187 times since then and 176 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 22, 2013, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 19, 2024