Between 1901 and 1936 Hobart Ames of North Easton, Massachusetts amassed a 25,000 acre land holding in Fayette and Hardeman Counties. The Ames family utilized the property as a winter retreat and for the holding of the National Championship for Field Trialing Bird Dogs up until Hobart’s death in 1945. Under the direction of his widow, Julia Colony Ames, in 1950 steps were taken to make the vast resources of the Ames Foundation available to the University of Tennessee for educational purposes. To that end, in 1950 Ames became a part of the UT AgResearch and Education program.
For the past 70 years the vast, privately owned, land resource has been utilized by The University of Tennessee, Rhodes College, The University of Memphis and other regional colleges and universities to enrich the lives of all Tennesseans and to provide educational opportunities to countless students and adults. The scope, scale and diversity of today’s 18,400-acre Ames land base provides an unmatched land resource and is one of the largest such facilities in the Southeast. Research opportunities include the fields of agronomy, beef cattle, forestry, wildlife, entomology, history and archaeology.