The Club’s beginning In 1929 fifty founding members under the direction of Miss Olive Beal formed a club dedicated to the hobby of gardening. This unique club gave the members an opportunity to exchange ideas as well as plants. Meetings were held in the homes and gardens of members. The monthly programs were a result of resourcefulness and creativity of the members. Guest and members enjoyed flower shows, suppers, and the annual luncheon. The Great Depression The Depression years gave rise to one of the most interesting Club projects. Members assembled garden flower, fruits, and vegetables in hampers at the hone of Mrs. William Bates. These hampers were taken to an early morning train in Greenbush and transported to Boston. Various Boston agencies distributed the contents to the needy. This tradition continued until 1957.
World War II During World War II the Club actively aided in the war efforts. Local Victory Gardens flourished and provided seeds to be sent to Great Britain. Gas shortages limited the number of meetings and vegetable canning programs mirrored the needs of the time. Town beautification was a central issue as members discouraged the increasing use of large signs appearing around the community. Dutch Elm Disease was becoming a serious problem and the Club wrote letters to the Stat House requesting continuing appropriations from the Legislature. Annual suppers and exhibits resumed at the end of the war and the Club moved forward.
The 1950s Beautification and conservation of Hanover became of focus for the Club. The first plantings were made around the World War II Memorial in front of the Town Hall. This display also served as a memorial to deceased Club members. In 1957 a Beautification Committee was formed to decorate all the post offices in Hanover. The question of membership in the Massachusetts Federation became the question of the decade. We joined, withdrew, and finally in 1968 joined again.
The 1960s The sixties were spent developing fifteen Hanover areas to beautify and care for. The Club began a clean-up week for the town, which continued into the next decade, and presented awards to businesses that took part in the beautification.
The 1970s Conservation and interest in local ecology increased in importance during the energy-conscious seventies. The Club went on record supporting legislation for billboard and pollution control, preservation of wetlands, recycling, protection of wild animals, and preservation of redwoods. Beautification and clean-up week activities involved members and town residents.
The Club undertook two worthwhile projects in the celebration of the Bicentennial. An authentic Colonial herb garden was designed and planted at the historic Stetson House. Cherry tree saplings were planted along Rt. 139,the Blue Star Highway. The main thrust of the Club focused on community preservation and beautification. In 1977 the Club planted and maintained twenty-eight locations. Trees were planted annually and the Stetson House herb garden continued to be maintained jointly by the Hanover and Walnut Hill Garden Clubs. The Present The semi-annual plant sale held every other May is the Club’s greatest fundraiser. This activity continues to be popular and provides much needed funding for traffic islands and town beautification. The Club worked with the Walnut Hill Garden Club in 2007 to design and plant an award winning Rain Garden in Hanover, maintained by both clubs.
We have come a long way from our beginnings in the late twenties. We seek to interest residents in the Town of Hanover and surrounding towns in appreciation of beautiful flowers and gardens. Throughout meetings, workshops, and Federation courses we desire to gain greater knowledge of gardening and to share that with our community. Our participation in projects such as Art in Bloom in conjunction with the Museum of Fine Arts, seasonal decorating at the Stetson House, and participation in the annual Hanover Day, provide opportunities for members to share their knowledge with the larger community.
The Future We move forward with pride and a continued commitment to the preservation and beautification of the Town of Hanover. We strive to educate our community in ways that will provide continued use of our valuable horticultural resources while helping to conserve our town environment. We strive to make Hanover even more beautiful and welcoming in the 21st century.