A Brief History of the Hammond Research Station

Regina P. Bracy  |  4/25/2005 8:48:12 PM

Welcome to the Hammond Research Station!

Hundreds of plants are evaluated annually in the Sun Garden

The Hody Wilson Camellia Garden has many old and rare camellias to delight visitors.

This station was established as the Fruit and Truck Experiment Station in January 1922 to provide research for strawberry and truck-crop farmers. The Tangipahoa Parish Police Jury purchased the land from Ivy Byron Bankston at the request of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce. A tax (levied in two wards of Tangipahoa Parish specifically for the establishment of an agricultural experiment station) provided funds to purchase the land, which was then leased to Louisiana State University.
This station was the fourth to be established in Louisiana. Located approximately 6 miles east of Hammond in Tangipahoa Parish, the station consists of 140 acres.

In 1922, Boleslaus "Bill" Szymoniak was appointed superintendent and began the first research projects on strawberries and truck crops. Walter F. "Hody" Wilson Jr. was named superintendent in 1936 and remained in this position until 1975. Wilson's primary interest was camellias, and he was responsible for the extensive plantings on the station.  Dr. Bunnie W. Wascom was named superintendent in July 1975, and chemical weed control and turfgrass studies were added to the research program.  

Dr. Roysell J. Constantin was appointed resident coordinator in August 1980.  In 1983 the station became known as the Hammond Research Station and in 2001 became part of the AgCenter's Southeast Region.

Dr. Regina Bracy became resident coordinator in 2004. Under Dr. Bracy's direction, a new program. the Landscape Horticulture Research and Extension Center, was initiated to serve the nursery and landscape industry.

In a few years, the station has become a dynamic site for landscape horticulture research and extension programs.

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