Historic Timeline - The First 120 Years


1891 - February 7. The Founders' First Meeting. Twelve friends who often informally exchanged plants and cuttings gathered in the 937 Prince Avenue home of Mrs. E. K. Lumpkin and set up a formal organization.

E.K. Lumpkin House

1892 - The ladies meet and perfect the organization of their garden club. Drs. Lane and Davis, officers of the Club, delivered two splendid lectures.

1892 - The first flower and vegetable show was held May 27 and 28. Prizes awarded to the successful contestants of the garden club; auction of vegetables and flowers: Mr. George Lucas, for best display pansies, won a handsome pair of evening slippers; $2.50, by Mr. R.K. Reaves, for 2nd best celery, bleached; Umbrella Stand for vase handsomest roses, Mr. Lowe to have them; Premium, Stern & Dorsey, for prettiest arranged table of vegetables; Premium, by Dr. J.A. Hunnicutt, for best display of rhubarb.

1904 - Garden Club of Philadelphia founded � to promote interest in gardens, their design, and management; conducting horticultural research, and participating in civic endeavors.

1954 - May 1 In recognition of the Founders of America's first Garden Club, the National Council of State Garden Clubs located on the campus of the University of Georgia presented this lovely garden figure to the Founders' Memorial Garden with a bronze plaque bearing the inscription:

�A tribute from the National Council of State Garden Clubs on its 25th Anniversary April, 1954 Presented to the Founders' Garden Athens , Georgia. �For every good thing has a beginning - and the beginning was here�

1959 - Garden Club of Georgia organized into seven geographical districts: Laurel , Azalea, Redbud, Oleander, Camellia, Magnolia, and Dogwood.

1966 - 75th Anniversary - Dogwood Trees The National Council of State Garden Clubs, at its meeting in 1966 passed a resolution recognizing and honoring the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Ladies' Garden Club of Athens, Georgia, urging each member club to participate in celebrating by planting a tree in memory of the Founders of the Ladies' Garden Club. Ladies' Garden Club celebrated by planting hundreds of dogwood trees along prince Avenue in Athens.

1990 - Approaching the centennial The Ladies' Garden Club honored the memory of the man who played an important role in its founding, Dr. Edwin D. Newton (1835-1917), by donating approximately one thousand dollars to provide for perpetual care of the plot in Oconee Hill Cemetery where he is buried. In June, the Ladies' Garden Club held a ceremony at the Founders' Memorial Garden dedicating a Pin Oak tree given by the Club for the Garden in memory of Hubert Bond Owens (1905-1989) in appreciation of the role he played in the Club's history. As part of the celebration, the Garden Club of Georgia offered to fund approximately one half of the projected renovation costs of the serpentine garden.

1991 - February 6 celebrates centennial. The E. K. Lumpkin home, now part of the Young Harris Memorial church complex and on the National Register of Historic Places, has been refurbished by the Church was the setting of the 100th Anniversary Celebration Reception.

1991 - February 7 Installation of officers to start the next 100 years. Ladies' Garden Club 1991-1993 officers were installed by the President of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Mrs. C. Manning Smith, assisted by the President of The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc., Mrs. E. Carl White, in the Lumpkin home parlor where the twelve founding members organized.

Portrait of the twelve founding ladies

1991 - The Memorial Room. The Memorial Room, honoring the Founders of the Ladies' Garden Club, was a focus of the 1991 Centennial activities. In 1940, a bay window was added to the building, as a gift of the Sand Hills Garden Club of Augusta, Georgia. The bay window provides an excellent view of the adjacent boxwood garden, a gift of Peachtree Garden Club, Atlanta. The building, originally a smoke house, was renovated into what is now a museum, housing many priceless items such as the original portrait of the twelve founding ladies.

Founders' Memorial Garden

1992 - October 13. Time capsule buried to be resurrected 2091. A list of contents was placed in the files of the Garden Club of Georgia as part of the 1991 Centenary celebration.

Time capsule placed


1995 - Annie Laurie Dodd , artist and wife of Lamar Dodd drew the famous pen & ink German Iris for Ladies' Garden Club, owned by Past President Charlotte Williams (below).

1998 October dedication of the new Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. Headquarters located at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens.

Garden Club of Georgia Headquarters

Adjoining the rear terrace is a lovely garden honoring Deen Day Sanders a former Garden Club of Georgia and National Garden Club President.

2011 120th Anniversary Celebration - At the 2011 annual Garden Club of Georgia Convention, the Ladies' Garden Club celebrated the 120th anniversary of garden clubs in America. The convention theme �The Beginning Was Here' was chosen to highlight the genesis of garden clubs, the Ladies' Garden Club, which began in Athens Georgia in 1891, and continues here today. From the beginning, Ladies' Garden Club was open to �every lady who might be interested in growing anything, from a cabbage to a chrysanthemum.� The Athens history tour visited the site of the first garden club meeting, E.K. Lumpkin house, 973 Prince Avenue. Then traveling through the historic district, the tour continued to the historic Lyndon House Art Center - present meeting place for Ladies' Garden Club, concluding with a University of Georgia faculty member leading a guided walking tour of the Founders' Memorial Garden on the campus.

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