WALTER JULIUS DAMTOFT
|Title||Walter Julius Damtoft Collection|
|Creator||Walter Julius Damtoft|
|Alt. Creator||Walter Atkinson Damtoft (1922-2011) and Family|
|Alt .Creator||Russell Damtoft (grandson)|
|Alt. Creator||Ann Elizabeth Damtoft Campbell (1926 - ) (daughter)|
|Subject Keyword||Walter Julius Damtoft ; Carl Alwin Schenck ; Gifford Pinchot ; John D. Veach ; Peter J. Hanlon ; James K. Vessey ; Verne Rhoades ; Harry Rossell ; Cradle of Forestry in America ; Biltmore Estate (Asheville, N.C.) ; Biltmore Forest School ; Pisgah National Forest ; Nantahala National Forest ; U.S. Forest Service ; "Olmstead Lands"; Reuben Robertson ; Weeks Law ; Yale Forest School ;|
|Subject LCSH||Damtoft, Walter Julius
Hanlon, Peter J.
Vessey, James K.
Craig, James B.
Erickson, H. C.
Foss, Gilbert A.
Nelson, Art W.
National Forests of North Carolina
Pomeroy, Kenneth B.
Schenck, Carl Alwin, 1868-1955
Towell, William E. (Bill)
Veach, John D.
Biltmore Estate (Asheville, N.C.)
Biltmore Forest School (1898-1913)
Biltmore Forest School -- History
Biltmore Forest School -- Students
Cradle of Forestry in America
Forests and forestry -- North Carolina
Forests and forestry -- United States
Forest Policy -- United States
Old growth forests -- North Carolina
Pisgah National Forest (N.C.)
United States. Dept. of Agriculture
United States. Forest Service. Southern Region
Yale School of Forestry -- History
Yale School of Forestry -- Students
|Description||The collection consists of two cartons of
materials collected by Walter Julius Damtoft, Jr. and his family that document the
life-work of Walter Julius Damtoft, Sr. . Damtoft is recognized as
the first industrial forester in the United States a
profession he created when he was hired by Champion
Paper Company in Canton, North Carolina. He was a
graduate of Yale Forest School and was associated with
members of the Biltmore
Forestry School who created what is now known as the "Cradle of Forestry
in America," in western North Carolina. Damtoft was a significant figure in the history of forestry in
the United States. This collection contains
material from Damtoft's years as a Yale student, some early history of the
Biltmore Forest School, which operated from 1898 to 1913 under the
leadership of German-born forester Carl Alwin Schenck (1868-1955), and
materials that documents the broader history of national forests in western North Carolina, especially the
Nantahala and the Pisgah national forests.
The significant body of material related to Damtoft's career with Champion Paper Company as the first Industrial Forester in the US, is noteworthy. Also included are articles, photographs, and correspondence related to the Forest School at Yale University and later his association with the U.S. Signal Corps. A life -long contributor to civic life in western North Carolina, Damtoft 's wise and generous contributions to the region are well described by this collection. Many of the highlights of Damtoft's work in the field of forestry complements the larger USFS Photograph Collection and the National Forests of North Carolina Archive, both held by UNCA Ramsey Library Special Collections.
Physically the collection consists of correspondence, brochures, pamphlets, maps, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, reprinted journal articles and photographs. One folder of newspaper clippings regarding the 1961 celebration of the anniversary of the Weeks Law will be of particular interest to researchers as will the early photographs of the Biltmore Forest School and details of the early Forest School at Yale University. The collection dates from the early 1900s to the late 1970s.
A second donation included a large and remarkable hand-woven Appalachian coverlet and numerous photographs of the early Yale Forest School Camp in Milford, Pennsylvania in the early years of the twentieth-century. A small collection of photographs taken when Damtoft visited Brazil to review forestry practice in Brazilian forests was also found among the many photographs.
|Publisher||D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville|
|Contributor||Champion Paper and Fiber Company, Canton, NC|
|Date||Digital creation: 2011-08-14|
|Type||collection ; text ; images|
|Format||3 linear ft [three cartons]|
|Source||M2011.06.01-10 ; OS2011.06.01- 02|
Is related to
|Oral History, Forest History Society, Duke University - Development of Forestry in the Southern United States Oral History Interviews, 1958 - 1976 ; Forest History Society, Duke University ; Reuben Robertson Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville ; William Nothstein Oral History, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville ; Peter Hanlon and James K. Vessey Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville.|
|Coverage||1900 - present ; Asheville, NC ; western North Carolina|
|Rights||No restrictions. Any display, publication, or public use
must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of
North Carolina at Asheville.
Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
|Donor||Donor no. 402|
|Acquisition||2011-08-12 ; 2011-10-24 ;|
|Citation||Walter Julius Damtoft Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804.|
|Processed by||D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections staff, 2011-08-14 hw ; 2011-10-26 hw ; 2013 cr|
|Biography||In 1978 a generous
gift was given to Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental
Studies from Champion International Corporation. The gift
established the Champion International/Walter J. Damtoft Study Tour,
which enables students in the Yale Forestry School to visit significant
forest industry locations in the United States. Walter J. Damtoft,
who was honored by the large donation to Yale, began his life's work
while a student at the School of Forestry. The gift is a "fitting
tribute to his work" said L.C. Heist, the vice President of Champion
International Corporation. Damtoft died in 1976 and was not present for
the many accolades that came his way from Champion, his Yale classmates,
his friends and the profession of forestry. His work at Champion
as the country's first industrial forester began in 1920 and was only
one segment of an extraordinary career.
A native of Connecticut, Damtoft was educated in the Prospect St. Grammar School, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
A graduate of the Yale School of Forestry in 1911, Damtoft had one of the most distinguished careers in the profession of forestry. What his distinguished career describes was the estimate given by the School of Damtoft's performance while enrolled and the fact that Damtoft's diploma was held back as he was deemed to be a student who "lacked maturity of purposeful effort." What this really meant was that Damtoft was remarkably young to be receiving the Masters diploma from the Forest School and to be doing so in one year. While he did not graduate from the Biltmore Forest School nor have any academic association with the local school, he was given an honorary degree of "Bachelor of Biltmore Forestry and Fellow of the Biltmore Union" by his fellow foresters.
Damtoft is known for his industrial conservation practices and his dedication to the restoration of the land that supports forest growth. His principles of selective timber cutting which acknowledged the importance of retaining seed trees, placed him among the most responsible of foresters practicing in the early years of the twentieth-century. His work with the Appalachian Spruce forest was ground-breaking. The spruce forests high on Roan Mountain are the result of his work in encouraging growth of the species on cut-over land. And, when the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was created and the high-elevation spruce resources were preserved for the park and not for commercial harvesting, Damtoft shifted his attention to the use of lower elevation trees and to the products derived from chestnut wood, particularly tannin. When the chestnut blight began to ravage the forests in the 1930s, Damtoft worked to save the species by attempting to create alternate resistant species. His early work has finally been realized in the recent efforts to save the chestnut tree by the national Chestnut Society and the new hybrid species that is experiencing a come-back in the southern Appalachians. .
Damtoft was a model of civic engagement. He was an active member of the N.C. Board of Conservation and Development ; Chairman of the Asheville Housing Authority ; Trustee of Memorial Mission Hospital ; Chairman of the Canton Planning Committee ; Chairman of the District Board of Appeal of the Selective Service System ; General Chairman of the Southern Governor's Conference , Asheville 1947 ; Member of the Board of managers of Wachovia Bank and Trust Co., Asheville ; President of the N.C. Industrial Council ; Director of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce ; President of the N.C. Traffic League ; Secretary of the Western North Carolina Committee for the Development of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ; President of the Canton Civic Club ; President of the West Asheville Business Men's Club ; Member of the Asheville Pen and Plate Club ; Member of the Newcomer Society ; Member of the Downtown Club ; Member of the Mountain City Club ; Member of the Biltmore Forest Country Club ; Member of the Trinity Episcopal Church.
Damtoft married Dorothy Atkinson in September of 1921. Dorothy was a native of Asheville and they gave birth to a son, Walter A. Damtoft and a daughter, Ann Damtoft Campbell. Walter J. Damtoft's first wife, Vivian Keen Martin Damtoft died in the flu epidemic of 1918.
For a comprehensive review of Damtoft's life and work consult the oral history taken by Elwood R. Maunder, University of Florida Ph.D in 1959. The oral history covers his life in detail and provides insight into his relationships with other foresters. This comprehensive oral history may be found, fully transcribed, in the Forest History Society collections, here: http://www.foresthistory.org/research/Biltmore_Project/USForestryOHIs.html#s2
|Chronology||Birth||Son of Knud J. and Dagmar Damtoft.|
|1903-1907||Student at Prospect St. Grammar School, Bridgeport, Connecticut|
|1910||B.A. Philosophy. Yale University, Sheffield Scientific School.|
|1911||Master of Forestry. Yale University, Yale Forest School.|
|1911-1917||Forest Examiner for the U.S. Forest Service for seven states|
|1917-1919||Administrative Assistant in the Pisgah National Forest Headquarters|
|1918||First wife, Vivian Keen Martin Damtoft, dies in the great flu epidemic.|
|1920-1950||Chief Forester and Assistant
Secretary and Assistant Division Manager of Champion Paper and Fiber
Co., Canton, NC.
General Manager of Hamilton Laboratories, Inc., Asheville, NC (a Champion subsidiary.)
|1950||Assistant Secretary-Treasurer and Director of the General Woods Department of Champion.|
|1951||Acting Director of the Forest Products Division, Office of Price Stabilization, Washington D.C.|
|1951||Returned to Champion Paper and Fiber Co., Canton, NC|
|1958||Retirement from Champion Paper and Fiber Co., Canton, NC|
|1958||Honorary Secretary of Champion Paper and Fiber Company (CPFCo)|
|Series 1||Biographical Information|
|Awards and Certificates|
|Box 2||Series 2||General Correspondence|
|Box 3||Series 3||
|Series 4||Writing (Published articles, Speeches, Radio, Newspaper commentary, etc.)|
|Series 5||Champion Paper Company|
|Series 6||Newspaper Clippings - Miscellaneous|
|Newspaper Clippings - Weeks Law Celebration [50th anniversary of the law establishing National Forests]|
|Newspaper Clippings - Reuben Robertson [Primary covering the death of Rueben B. Robertson Jr. in an auto accident]|
Boxes 7 and 8
|Series 7||Miscellaneous Publications - primarily covering forestry conservation, including many on the creation, and history, of the Cradle of Forestry. Additionally, Champion Paper journals, Yale School of Forestry and Biltmore Forest School publications, and some general material on western North Carolina are also included.|
Photograph Album - a collection of mostly untitled and
undated photographs of:
Schenck's old white pine plantation at Biltmore - 12
photographs taken between 1897 and 1970, and an article
by Lino Della-Bianca, describing a plantation
established in 1899 by Carl A. Schenck
(Pages removed from a scrapbook?)
(1900 - 1960s)
OS Box 1 to 4
Items and Objects, including scrapbooks of newspaper
clippings and awards presented to Walter J. Damtoft