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
Ann S. Alberts
Mary M. Gabrielle
Gertrude R. Cunningham
*Mandarin Garden Club History Book written by Fredi Olson, Magnolia Circle, 2018