A Long History

Eloise Ray and Ginny Sherwood overlooking the Saugatuck River

Eloise Ray and Ginny Sherwood overlooking the Saugatuck River

Excerpt from
A History of the Westport Garden Club 1924-2004

By Louise Ward Demakis

The Westport Garden Club is one of the ten oldest garden clubs in New England, which makes our eighty (now approaching 100!) years of gardening rather unique.  The ten people who met on April 11, 1924 did not have any idea that a garden club would be integral to Westport’s history, but as I read the minutes of their meetings, I developed an appreciation of the dedication to community service and civic development which continues to flourish today.  Not long after that first meeting, the founders invited a number of like-minded women to join with them in their love of gardening.  Today, we affectionately refer to all those early gardeners as our “grandams.”

And “grandams” they were! They appeared at meetings in hats and white gloves. They entered floral designs at virtually every flower show taking place in Fairfield County. They brought out their best china and silver tea services at monthly meetings, and if Dorothy Daggett Schoolcraft’s diary does not exaggerate, they “did the house from end to end” when hostessing. Life was a bit easier in those days. Few members have homes large enough to hold fifty active members today; none of us have full-time, or even part-time, gardeners; and most of us have demands in our daily lives that would have left our “grandams” wide-eyed in amazement.

4. Miss Katherine Wilcox.jpg
33. Members of …Town - 1924 copy.jpg
20. Lillian Wad…lie in 1916.jpg
50. 75th Anniversary Quilt.jpg


Read the complete history of the Westport Garden Club
by Louise Ward Demakis


19. Bessie Axle… Club Board.jpg