Mississippi by Air: Delta Experiment Station 1952

Postmarked Jan 1952.

Postmarked Jan 1952.

Categories: Delta


6 replies

  1. I love the Mississippi by Air series, but I always wish there was a bit (Okay, a lot) of text about it. :)


    • I will help you out a little bit on the text for this photograph.

      The Delta Experiment Station was established in 1904. The photograph Malvaney used shows a similar scene to one that I have seen from 1940. Malvaney’s photograph pre-dates 1949, when a three-story wing was added to the center foreground building, the 1931 Office and Laboratory Building. The Office and Laboratory Building was constructed through a $100,000 bill signed by Herbert Hoover naming the Delta Branch Experiment Station as site for a cotton research laboratory. The building is reinforced concrete and brick and faces the Greenville-Columbus Railroad tracks running through the foreground. At the time, it was believed a new highway between Leland and Greenville would be constructed parallel to the railroad tracks. It wasn’t. The appropriation to build the Office and Laboratory Building was $30,000 of the total $100,000 sent to Stoneville, which apparently did not include furniture, money for which had to be raised elsewhere.

      Only the building in the lower right corner was added between 1940 and whenever Malvaney’s photograph was taken. I am not sure what function it had. The building closest to the lower left corner was the Mule Barn, specifically the second Mule Barn. The first lasted from 1930 to 1939 before burning down, along with the Dairy Barn and various other buildings and equipment. The second Mule Barn looked basically the same as the first and its nearly 17,000 sq. ft. area was finished by the time the 1940 aerial view was made.

      The Delta Experiment Station is divided by Deer Creek, which runs roughly through the middle of the photograph. The perspective of Malvaney’s aerial is looking south, so the buildings on the south side of Deer Creek were, I believe, the cotton gin and cottonseed storage buildings. The trees on the north side of Deer Creek are hiding various houses for Station employees.

      The Office and Laboratory Building, most of the buildings in the upper left corner, and some of the buildings on the south side of Deer Creek are still there today, though the campus only marginally resembles Malvaney’s aerial shot.

      There is an entire chapter on the Delta Branch Experiment Station’s campus history in the book 100 Years of Agricultural Research: The Delta Branch Experiment Station, Stoneville, Mississippi.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ask, and ye shall receive, Suzassippi. :-) Thanks, W.


      • What was funny was I kept thinking I had heard this name before, and looked back through my New Deal research, and I actually did some minor research on this site as WPA was involved in improvements, including bridge building and road construction in 1940.


  2. Click the picture for a larger image!


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