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History of the Club
Boothbay Region Garden Club Beginnings
On April 21, 1931, twenty men and women met at the home of Mrs. W. E. Barrett to elect officers to the newly formed Boothbay Harbor Garden Club. The new members read like a who’s who of families who had lived here for generations:
Lewis, Hodgdon, Barrett, Clifford, Campbell, Boyd, Kenniston and more.
They had been talking about formally organizing a garden club “according to parliamentary procedures” for over a year. This was their first meeting.
The “aims of the club shall be to promote interest in the art and practice of gardening, the beautification of our streets, the care of shade trees, the preservation of our wild flowers and the love of birds”.
Dues were established at 25 cents a year. Membership was open to all who were interested in flowers.
The Club met at the homes of members; had games and talks by members, book reports, stories of success and failure in the garden.
They did not let any grass grow under their feet! By the end of 1931 they had a garden party at Mrs. Barrett’s home; had voted to plant a small triangle on Commercial Street with flowers (not there now) to be mowed by the Boy Scouts and watered by shopkeepers; they created a Children’s Garden Contest (either flowers of vegetables) with prizes for children (the winners one boy and one girl received garden tools, and 2 dozen tulip bulbs); they held a flower sale in the Nickerson Building (McKown and Oak Streets); a Christmas Home Decorating
Contest (house and grounds) with prizes (most memorable were a Miller sunlamp and a sandwich toaster donated by CMP.)
In 1932 the Club held its first Flower Show in the Memorial Library, with two judges from Augusta and two from Waterville and ten classes of flowers or arrangements. The Club held a Flower Show every year in the 30”s. In 1936 the Club held an “Open Gardens” tour featuring ten homes.
In 1933 the Boothbay Harbor Garden club joined the Garden Club Federation of Maine, also organized in 1931.
In 1935 the Club changed its name to the Boothbay Region Garden Club. The BRGC joined the National Garden Clubs, Inc. (then the National Council of State Garden Club Federations). Founded in 1929,
the basic objectives of the NGC, still relevant today were: “knowledge and networking among members across the nation to have one powerful voice”.
Sue Hochstein, Historian
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