The Durfee Conservatory
Durfee Conservatory

History

First Massachusetts College of Agriculture class

1862 — Land Grant Act signed by President Abraham Lincoln

1864Original 383 acres in Amherst, Massachusetts, purchased for site of Massachusetts Agricultural College

1864 — Purchase of land for college site, including 73 acres that formed the Durfee holdings

1867Durfee Plant House constructed

1875Durfee experiment to measure surface pressure of a chili squash received world-wide attention

1878 — First sale catalog of plants issued by Durfee

1883Original Durfee buildings seriously damaged by fire

1890Durfee received donated Japanese maples from Mount Fuji

1892 — Renovations to conservatory complete

1893One-ton century plant (Agave Americana varigata) blossomed

1934Part of Harvard plant collection donated to Durfee

1938 — Oak tree downed in hurricane; one entire house destroyed, followed by a steady decline and general state of disrepair

1954New conservatory building constructed

1978 — All-American Display Garden designation assigned

1980 — Horticultural therapy program instituted

1992 — History of Durfee Conservatory published for 125th anniversary

1993 — Phase I of Durfee Gardens Project constructed

2006 — Durfee Conservatory transferred to UMass Extension

2007 — Renovations to upgrade conservatory begun

2013 — UMass celebrates 150th year anniversary

2014 —  UMass Cooperative Extension celebrates 100th year anniversary