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The Fruits of their Labor: Spatial Patterns of Agricultural Production and Labor Strategies in the Town of Hector, Schuyler County, New York

Author(s): Dustin W Conklin

Year: 2017

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Summary

In the early 20th century, agricultural professionals classified the farmland located along the Hector Backbone as submarginal. They cited poor soil conditions and unfavorable topography, which resulted in substandard production, as primary culprits. Subsequently, New Deal legislation provided the framework to remove submarginal farms from production. Archaeological research has shown that these environmental conditions do not adhere to the classification scheme.  Additionally, the spatial distribution of many agricultural products across the town of Hector occurred in clusters that crosscut different land classes. However, fruit production differed between land classes. Fruit production is an entry point to explore the relationship between agricultural production and the land classification. A focus on labor strategies such as mechanization, wage labor, and tenant occupied farms will show that early 20th century agriculture encompassed a complicated set of social relations unable to be classified based on perceived productive capability and agricultural ideals.


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The Fruits of their Labor: Spatial Patterns of Agricultural Production and Labor Strategies in the Town of Hector, Schuyler County, New York. Dustin W Conklin. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435490)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 573

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America