Treasures of Carolina: Tomato Club booklets

[This blog post was written by Andrea Gabriel, Outreach and Development Coordinator for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Tomato club booklet, ca 1913. Jane S. McKimmon Papers, Private Collections

Tomato club booklet, ca 1913. Jane S. McKimmon Papers, Private Collections

A pioneer in agricultural extension and education, Jane S. McKimmon helped to organize “tomato clubs” in North Carolina as early as 1912 where girls from 10 to 20 grew, sold, and canned tomatoes, earning money for themselves and their families. Tomato Club booklets were created as reports about the member’s activities and were hand-decorated by each girl. This booklet by Sallie Davis describes types of tomatoes, her planting strategies, and recipes for fresh tomatoes.

Eventually, the clubs evolved to include many other types of produce, eggs, and poultry, and by 1914, thirty-two North Carolina counties had clubs. As home demonstration clubs, the tomato clubs were the basis for the modern-day extension service at North Carolina State University.


A selection of the state’s historic documents will be exhibited in Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives of North Carolina at the Museum of History, October 24, 2015–June 19, 2016. Documents from the Archives vault, unique letters, historic photographs, public records, and other media will illuminate the myriad of ways in which the holdings of the State Archives document the workings of our government, provide evidence of civil liberties, and preserve the history and culture of North Carolina. This exhibit is sponsored by the Friends of the Archives and runs through June 19, 2016. Additional funding was provided by the N.C. Bar Association Foundation, the Raleigh Times, and Wells Fargo.

To learn more about the exhibit, please see: or

For a full list of documents that will be on display only a limited time, see:

See the State Archives Facebook calendar or Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources events calendar for more upcoming events.