Monday, December 14, 2020

Memories from the Past




By Betty Waldrep



“Tis the season” to remember past events and special people. With that in mind, I would like to share some of Mandarin Garden Club’s memories with our followers. As I share these with you, I am sure you will recall Mandarin of the past or learn history you never knew about.

Mandarin Garden Club was established November 8th, 1945 and met at the Mandarin Community Club. There were 30 original members. These members took on the project of the Oak trees on Mandarin Road and the beautification of the road. Mrs. Sam Folds, Civic Chairman, ask each member to plant a tree along the roadside by their home. Mrs. Folds was given $15.00 for maintenance and cleaning of the roadside during the Winter.

Mrs. Leslie Jones, a garden club member, was instrumental in the club hiring a man and wagon one and one/half days a month to rake and haul the trash away on Mandarin Road during 1947.

In December of 1947, Mary Gabrielle, Civic Chairman for the garden club was given permission by the County Commissioners to supervise any work done in the vicinity of Mandarin Road from the Creek to one-half mile beyond Mandarin Post Office to preserve the trees.

Howard Spellecy, a tree expert, told the garden club the trees needed care and he would charge $15,000 to care for the tree. The money was raised, and the trees received the care they needed.

The ladies of the club took on many fund-raising projects to help the community of Mandarin. In December,1949, the ladies sponsored a wreath making workshop to be sold at a Bazaar at the Church of our Savior on Mandarin Road. The funds from this project were donated to the building fund of the Episcopal Church. The garden club often gave money to the building fund of Baptist Hospital as well as the Episcopal Church. The tree fund was only used for the Live Oaks on Mandarin Road.

Another project Mandarin Garden Club helped with was the Well Baby Clinic started for under-privileged children in Mandarin. Kate Monson, a teacher, and garden club member were concerned with the health of the children of Mandarin.

Another especially important historical event for Mandarin Garden Club happened on December 15th, 1949. The Proposed Charter of the Mandarin Garden Club was granted, and the following women were the subscribers of the Charter:

Dorothy F. McIntire

Lydia M. Boyce

Helen C. Hartley

Dorothy A. Arrowsmith

Julia Austin

Ann S. Alberts

Mary M. Gabrielle

Gertrude R. Cunningham




*Mandarin Garden Club History Book written by Fredi Olson, Magnolia Circle, 2018

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Happy Anniversary Mandarin Garden Club!

 Mandarin Garden Club Celebrates their 

75th Anniversary “Through the Decades”
November 8, 2020 2-5 pm

The Mandarin Garden Club is celebrating the 75th anniversary on the actual day of their 75th Anniversary on November 8, 2020.  They are celebrating history in Mandarin “Through the Decades”.

On November 8, 1945, 30 local members of the Mandarin Garden Circle joined together. This group wanted to be a non-profit organization that would help to beautify the Mandarin area.  They chose to help save and plant more live oaks along the Mandarin Road. For years they cleaned areas, had bake sales and bazaars.  They helped to pay for the firetruck and learned to fight fires.  They hired a tree specialist fand planted more live oak trees. The women also used the truck to water the live oaks.

Meetings were at the Mandarin Community Club basement, the building donated by Harriet Beecher Stowe.   In 1959 the basement flooded and was not usable.  Members then met in private homes discussing gardening problems while having tea and cookies. They participated in flower shows and citrus festivals.  In 1957 there were 62 days of cold with frosts and freezes.  Citrus and flowers were damaged and there were no shows that year. 

The current Mandarin Garden Club property was purchased in May 1963 for $5,500. The mortgage was $10,595 with payments of $500 per year.  Louise Hill and Bess Perimeter signed for the mortgage without the knowledge or approval of their husbands. Plants were donated and master gardeners made demonstration gardens. Festivals were successful selling baked goods.  Many remarkable women and a few men have made the Mandarin Garden Club what it is today.  Work was done to make walkways, expand gardens, fund raising, social events, writing their cookbook and many other jobs.

The building, designated a historical landmark, has been a popular venue for weddings and events.  The Garden Club (4) Circles meet monthly along with several other non-profit organizations providing activities and lectures of interest to gardeners.  On November 7, 2020, from 9 am to 4 pm there will be a Craft Fair free and open to the community. Rental  information is on the website,  It is time to see these lovely gardens in our community.

Historical information from Fredi Olson, historian
Written by Diana Openbrier

Monday, February 17, 2020

Town Hall Meeting February 10, 2020

Monday night, February 10th, 2020, a Town Hall meeting was held at Mandarin Garden Club, 2892 Loretto Rd., by Representative Mike Boylan to discuss the proposed development of 55 homes along Loretto Road.

A crowd of about 150 people attended the event to learn about the development and to express their concerns. Flooding and traffic were the two big issues discussed. The developer was present and is planning 70 ft lots for homes priced in the $400,000’s. It was a very heated meeting among long time residents, the developer, and city officials.

The developer’s application is before the Planning Commission and the City Council.