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Johnson City Council of Garden Clubs


The Johnson City Council of Garden Clubs was founded in 1952 as a federation of the region's 16 adult and two junior horticultural organizations, whose membership included over 500 women and young adults. The council's objectives were to coordinate the interests of the garden clubs of Johnson City, to aid in the protection of the region's natural resources, to encourage civic beauty and roadside development projects, and to assist in the development of Junior Garden Clubs. As interest in local beautification and conservation projects increased, six more garden clubs were created between 1953 and 1954 enlarging the council's enrollment to nearly 700 members. Under the leadership of the council's first president, Mrs. Carrie Debard, the organization pursued three beautification projects that included the landscaping and care of the properties of the Johnson City Memorial Hospital, Rotary Park, and the city's various parking lots. The Johnson City Council of Garden Clubs was recognized by its national council in 1956 for the successful conservation work it had done within the region and was granted a national certification of federation.

A gradual change in people's environmental interests during the 1960s saw a decline of the Johnson City Council of Garden Clubs. The Council's 1963 membership had dropped to 17 clubs with 400 active participants, and by 1986 the roll had steadily decreased to 200. The council disbanded its organization in March 1991. Some of its more recent activities included participation in the Guaranda Friendship Garden Club as part of the Johnson City-Guaranda Sister Cities Program, assistance in the care and maintenance of the grounds to the Tipton-Haynes Historical site, and sponsorship of recent legislation restricting the use of billboards in Tennessee.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

East Tennessee State University Earth, Trees, and Seeds University Garden Club Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UnivRec-39
Arrangement The collection is divided into three series: Series 1, Organization Records, 1954-1991; Series 2, Scrapbooks and Memorabilia, 1963-1985; and Series 3, Miscellaneous Publications, 1979-1991.
Dates: 1954-1991

Johnson City Council of Garden Clubs Collection

 Collection — other: 15 boxes, 27 scrapbooks, 2 plaques
Identifier: AppMs-344
Scope and Contents The papers of the Johnson City Council of Garden Clubs consists of scrapbooks, correspondence, newsclippings, reports, pamphlets, event programs, membership lists, and memorabilia. The records document the general operation of the council and the management of its horticultural and conservation activities between 1958 and 1991. The two addenda to the Johnson City Council of Garden Clubs Collection consist of scrapbooks, correspondence, reports, pamphlets, periodicals, minutes,...
Dates: 1958-1991; Majority of material found within 1965-1985