History of Calvert Garden Club

Minutes of a meeting in May 1936 tell us that Mrs. E. Briscoe (Betty Briscoe) “gathered ladies throughout the county who were interested in forming a Federated Garden Club.” She invited them to meet on May 8th at Spout Farm, the home of Mrs. M. Rorty. “The meeting was called to order by Mrs. E. Briscoe, after which, Mrs. Rorty spoke on the ‘Value of a Federated Garden Club’ to our County. Mrs. Keyes spoke on how to organize a club and things we might do. After much discussion, officers were elected. Meetings were to be held the 3rd Thursday in every month. The secretary was asked to get further information from Federation on By-Laws. The dues of $1.00 were proposed. Eighteen members paid dues.”

In addition to these minutes, other historical documents tell us that Mrs. Briscoe had been president of the Prince Frederick Garden Club and the Chairman of the Annual Flower Show for several years, and was quite anxious for the club to join the Federation. On September 17, 1936, at the home of Mrs. Preston Lore, the constitution and by-laws were accepted by the membership. In November, at the home of Mrs. R. Smoot, “Mrs. E. Briscoe read a letter stating the club had been elected into the Federation and that an official notice would follow.” The Calvert Garden Club was born.

The early years found the Club meeting in one another’s home, sharing food and friendship, and touring each other’s garden. They had interesting programs, such as perennial gardens, how and when to plant shrubs, wreath making, transplanting, what to do with daffodils, and many other interesting topics. Sounds familiar, does it not? Almost 75 years later, the Club continues with 55 active members, 18 life and associate members, dues are $35 and we now meet in church halls. Some long time members miss the intimacy of the home meetings. However, no matter where we meet, Betty Briscoe’s dream thrives as we continue along the path that she planted for us so very long ago.

We would like to take this opportunity  to acknowledge and recognize the long term achievements and honor the services of our past presidents.

Past Presidents:

Shahla Butler  2015 – 2015
Joyce Fletcher  2013 – 2015
Denise Moroney  2011 – 2013
Nancy Thompson  2009 – 2011
Rosemary Dawley  2007 – 2009
Adele Maguire  2003 – 2007
Arleen Strider  2001 – 2003
Sarah Yeats  1997 – 2001
Charlene Cumberland (John H.)  1995 – 1997
Susan Maffett (Ronald C.)  1993 – 1995
Beryl Jerome (Joseph G.)  1991 – 1993
Jean Hinman (Edward J.)  1991 – 1991
Mary Elizabeth, (Kitch)  Eisenman(Richard L.)  1989 – 1991
Mary Briscoe(John D.)  1987 – 1989
 Jean Hinman ( Edward J.)  1985 – 1987
Nan Oldham (Arthur F., Sr.)  1983 – 1985
Barbara Grosvenor (Albert C.)  1981 – 1983
Judy Glascock (Bedford C.)  1979 – 1981
Mary Gordon (Stewart E.)  1977 – 1979
Mason Sinclair (Richard G.)  1975 – 1977
Sandra Briscoe ( James T.)  1973 – 1975
Beryl Jerome (Joseph G.)  1971 – 1973
Helen Wohlgemuth (Christian, Jr.)  1969 – 1971
Virginia Bowen (Perry G., Jr.)  1967 – 1969
May Cole (Philip L.)  1965 – 1967
Virginia White ( John J.)  1963 – 1965
Rubel Dawson (James R.)  1961 – 1963
Evelyn Carpenter (G. Oscar)  1959 – 1961
Virginia White (John J.)  1957 – 1959
Sophie Smith (Don)  1955 – 1957
Eunice Rockhill (Malcolm)  1953 – 1955
Betty Briscoe (Everard)  1949 – 1953
Virginia Lore (Joseph C., Jr.)  1947 – 1949
Evelyn Beaven (G. Francis)  1945 – 1947
Betty Briscoe (Everard)  1943 – 1945
Vangie Bennett (Gordon)  1941 – 1943
Cora Smoot  (R. B.)  1939 – 1941
Mary B. Turner (Claude A.)  1937 – 1939
Edna Davis  (Clarence)  1936 – 1937

Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth.
You’re closer to God’s heart in a garden than any place else on earth.
-Dorothy Frances Gurney

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