Cambridge Plant and Garden Club. Records, 1889-1991: A Finding AidArthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
© 1992 Radcliffe College
Call No.: MC 419
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Cambridge Plant and Garden Club
Title: Records, 1889-1991
Quantity: 18 1/2 file boxes, 1 supersize folder, 2 oversize folders, 3 folio+ folders, 3 folio
folders, 1 carton color slides, 1 card file box, and audiovisual material.
Abstract: Reports, histories, photographs, color slides, etc., of the Cambridge Plant and Garden
Club, one of the oldest garden clubs in the United States.
Processed: December 1992
By: Jane S. Knowles
Accession numbers: 86-M62, 87-M26, 87-M157, 88-M11, 89-M90, 91-M210, 92-M159, 93-M7, 93-M12
These records were given to the Schlesinger Library by the Cambridge Plant and Garden Club beginning in April 1986.
Access.Researchers must obtain the prior written permission of the Cambridge Plant and Garden
Copyright. Copyright is retained by the Cambridge Plant and Garden Club.
Copying. Photocopying of papers in the collection requires the prior written permission of
the Club. Reproduction of photographs requires the prior written permission of the
photographer and whenever possible those photographed.
Cambridge Plant and Garden Club. Records, 1889-1991; item description, dates. MC 419,
folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute,
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
The Cambridge Plant Club, originally known as the Floricultural Society, was founded
in 1889 and was one of the earliest garden clubs formed in the United States. It
was intended to be a club for women with an interest in the "serious study of horticulture."
In 1966 the Cambridge Plant Club merged with the Cambridge Garden Club (which had
been begun by younger, less-experienced gardeners in 1938) to form the Cambridge Plant
and Garden Club (CPGC). Over time, the club's objectives have broadened to include
the care and study of gardens and house plants, partici-pation in horticultural exhibitions,
civic planting and landscaping projects in Cambridge, Mass., and action on behalf
of local and global environmental concerns.
The club was accepted for membership in the Garden Club of America in 1968 and is
affiliated with the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts. One of its past presidents
was the landscape architect Lois Lilley Howe.
The club has received awards for its many urban beautification projects, including
two awards from the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts (1952 and 1984), the Sears
Roebuck award (1967), and the Founders Fund Award of the Garden Club of America (1980)
for planting and restoration at Fresh Pond Reservation. The club's civic contributions
were formally recognized by the City of Cambridge and the Massachusetts State Senate
in 1989 on the occasion of the club's centennial.
Many individual club members and the club as a whole have won awards in the Masssachusetts
Horticultural Society's Spring Flower Show and in the Garden Club of America flower
For further information on club history see the Timeline and Centennial history (#8).
The records of the CPGC have been divided into the following four series:
Series I, Anniversaries, awards, etc. (#1-28), consists of awards, photographs, programs,
clippings, and other material documenting the celebrations of the club's anniversaries
in 1939, 1949, 1959, 1964, and 1989; there are also research notes and photocopies
of documents used in compiling the centennial history of the club, clippings about
the club, and memorabilia.
Series II, Records (#29v-110), consists of minutes, committee reports, financial accounts,
a few texts of talks, membership correspondence, obituaries, and clip-pings about
members. These materials document the programs and activities of the CPGC and its
predecessors, the Cambridge Plant Club (first known as the Floricultural Society)
and the Cambridge Garden Club, from 1889 to the present.
Series III, Projects (#111-180+), consists of reports, correspondence, color slides
and photographs describing the many civic and social causes for which the CPGC has
worked or given funds. In the 1940s and 1950s, after World War II, the club undertook
to send seeds to Czechoslovakia and England, fund horticultural therapy in Veterans'
Administration hospitals, clean up the Old Burying Ground, and replant Cambridge Common.
There are designs, blueprints, reports, and awards that illustrate the continuous
work of the CPGC since 1963 to reclaim, restore, and maintain many different sections
of the Fresh Pond Reservation. There are also records of the CPGC's assistance with
planning and maintenance of the Winthrop Square Park garden and its successful protest
against development of a new garden and pump in Harvard Yard. There are designs,
reports, and correspondence relating to historic garden restoration projects at Longfellow
House and the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House, and descriptions and some designs for members'
gardens in Cambridge and elsewhere (see #180+.)
Photographs, awards, correspondence, and designs demonstrate the frequent participation
and success of the club in exhibitions at the New England Flower Shows, 1929-1965,
and in the Garden Club of America's floral arrangement competitions.
The concern of some members of the club over nuclear disarmament, control of hazardous
waste, and water pollution is seen in the activities of the Conservation Committee
chaired by Frances Webb and in the newsletter, Conservation News and Action, edited by Dorothy Le Messurier, 1982-1989.
Series IV, Other associations (#181-205m), includes awards, publications, and programs
of the Garden Club of America, and memorabilia, etc. of the Garden Club Federation
of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
- Box 1: 1-3, 6-11, 13
- Box 2: 14-21v, 23-25f
- Box 3: 26-32
- Box 4: 33v-38
- Box 5: 39v-44v
- Box 6: 45-55
- Box 7: 56v-63v
- Box 8: 64-74v
- Box 9: 75-83, 85
- Box 10: 86v-89v
- Box 11: 90v-96
- Box 12: 97-107, 109-110, 112
- Box 13: 113-115, 117-120, 123-127, 130-132
- Box 14: 133-138, 140-148
- Box 15: 149-151, 153-159, 161-163
- Box 16: 164-175, 177-178
- Carton 18: Color slides: Fresh Pond, Cambridge trees, members' gardens, etc.
- Box 19: 181-196v, 198-200
- Box 20: 201v-203
- Box 21: #179m, 197m, 204m, 205m
- Series I. ANNIVERSARIES, AWARDS, etc.
- 1-11vt: Anniversaries
- 2v. "Reminiscences: papers read at the CPC, Jan 20, 1939." 3 copies
- 8-9. Publications: Centennial Time Line; Photographs Celebrating One Hundred Years by Barbara Norfleet; The First Hundred Years, 1889-1989; Members; Gardens. 2 copies of each.
- 11vt. Invitations, programs
- 12vt. Centennial party videotape.
REQUEST AS Vt-66.
- 13-19: Centennial research material
- 13. Correspondence re: historical research, 1988
- 14. Photocopies of programs and minutes
- 15. Photocopies, 1964-1971
- 17. History research photocopies
- 20-22f: Awards.
See also #120, 131, 130, 134, 137.
- 20. Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, 1952, 1984
- 21v. City of Cambridge resolution recognizing the CPGC for "... creative participation
in enriching the Cambridge environment," 1989
- 22f. Citation from Massachusetts State Senate recognizing "100 years of working to provide
greenspaces in the City of Cambridge," 1989
- 23. Material re: age of club, 1929-1963
- 24. Clippings about the club, 1949-1987
- 25f. Horticulture, 1928-1963: scattered issues with references to club and club members
- 26. Re: CPGC archives, 1958-1989; includes lists of material deposited in Houghton Library
and subsequently transferred to Schlesinger Library.
- 27f. Design for Cambridge Plant Club seal, 1963
- 28. Miscellaneous clippings and other printed; includes views of Cambridge public spaces,
F.E. Corne's "Fern Facts and Fancies," American Fern Journal, 1924
- Series II. RECORDS
- 29v-50: Cambridge Plant Club
- 30. "Floricultural Society/Plant Club/Treasurer's report," 1891
- 32. Talks, poems, 1902-09, n.d.; list of lecturers, 1899-1913
- 34v. Christine Farley notebook, 1911-1940
- 35. Loose items from #34v
- 36v. Elizabeth Bond's "Marriage of the Flowers," 1916
- 38. Report of Ragweed Committee, 1944 (from #37v)
- 39v. Scrapbook, 1929-1963
- 40. Loose items from #39v
- 41. Talks, 1933-1945, n.d.
- 42. Executive Committee minutes, 1940-1962
- 43. Re: gift of books by Cambridge Plant Club, 1941; also re: Botanic Garden, 1933
- 45. Loose items from #44v
- 46. Correspondence, 1948-1954, some re: joining Garden Club of America, 1954
- 47. Volume 6: minutes, 1955-1958
- 48. Miscellaneous correspondence, clippings, 1955-1964, n.d.
- 50. Executive Committee minutes, 1964-1968
- 51v-54: Cambridge Garden Club records
- 55. Cambridge Plant Club/Cambridge Garden Club merger, 1965/1966
- 56v-110: Cambridge Plant and Garden Club
- 56v-57v. 1965: history of club activities, list of members, descriptions of members' gardens,
exhibitions at New England Flower Show, including PHOTOGRAPHS. 2 copies
- 63v. Bay Wigglesworth notebook, 1971-1972
- 65. Dorothy Manks talk: "Some rare plants: gifts of Bostonians," 1972
- 76. Questionnaires, 1977-1978
- 78. Re: container gardening, 1978
- 80v. Louisa Wright notebook, ca.1979
- 82. Questionnaires, 1979-1980
- 83. Draft article on CPGC, ca.1979
- 87v. "CPGC in Action," 1981-1982
- 91. Finances, 1983-1990/91
- 92. Background reading re: Victorian gardens (ca. 1984-1985)
- 95. "Memories of Monet," 1985
- 102-110: Membership
- 102. CPC and CPGC membership lists, 1909-1984 (scattered)
- 103. Officers of Cambridge Garden Club, 1938-1965, and of CPGC, 1965-1971
- 105. Procedures, 1967-1991
- 106. Re: Mary Isabella de Gozzaldi, 1935
- 107. Re: Susan L. Hayes, n.d.
- 109. Memorial service programs, clippings, and obituaries, etc., about members (arranged
- 110. Correspondence, 1916-1958, n.d., 1973-1986
- Series III. Projects
- 112. Miscellaneous, 1929-1959
- 113. Cambridge Common, 1952-1956; includes PHOTOGRAPHS.
- 114. Garden Club Service, Inc.: re: horticultural therapy at Veterans' Administration Hospital,
- 115. "Seeds for England," 1942-1950
- 116mp-117: "Operation Forget-Me-Not," 1948
- 116mp. Motion picture.
Request as MP-33.
- 118. Blue Star Memorial Highway, 1946-1947
- 119. Hell's Half-Acre: project to preserve wetlands near Cambridge Cemetery, 1959
- 120-124: New England Spring Flower Shows.
See also #180+.
- 120. "CPC Awards, 1948-", 1928, 1948-1965
- 122f+. Designs, 1961, n.d.
- 123. Programs, correspondence, 1960-1963
- 125-128o: Members' gardens
- 126. Historic gardens project, 1987
- 127. Re: garden of Mrs. Allyn Forbes; includes PHOTOGRAPH.
- 128o. Designs for Mrs. Allyn Forbes' garden by Fletcher Steele, A.F. Hoedtke, and Everett
See also #180+.
- 129-149: Re: Black's Nook and other projects at Fresh Pond Reservation
- 130. History, 1963-1967, and award, 1967
- 131. Studies of Cambridge water, 1969-1975, n.d.
- 133. Fresh Pond Reservation Horticultural Review, 1978 (2 copies)
- 134. City of Cambridge resolution, 1979
- 135. 1979.
See also #180+.
- 136. Proposal for GCA's Founders' Fund award, 1979
- 137. Re: GCA Founders Fund award, 1980
- 138. Plant lists, etc., 1980
- 139o. Designs for Fresh Pond, 1980-1986; clippings, 1986.
- 142. 1983.
See also #180+.
- 150-152: Longfellow House Garden Project
- 151. History of Longfellow House garden
- 153-165: Conservation Committee
- 153. Conservation News in Action (newsletter), Mar 1982-Dec 1986
- 154. Conservation News in Action, Oct 1985 - Dec 1986, 1989
- 155. Pollution of air and water, 1982-1984
- 156. Nuclear freeze clippings and correspondence, 1982-1986
- 157. Hazardous waste and other conservation issues, 1984-1987
- 158. 1985-1990; includes report to GCA.
- 159. Polluted water, 1986-1987
- 161. Hazardous waste, 1988
- 163. Hazardous waste: clippings, brochures, n.d.
- 164. Household hazardous waste: minutes, correspondence, 1987-1990
- 165. Education sub-committee, 1989
- 166. Correspondence, clippings re: clearing Charles River banks, other Cambridge, 1983-1988
- 167-168: Controversy over Radcliffe's gift of garden and pump for Harvard Yard
- 168. Correspondence and clippings, 1986-1987
- 169. Hooper-Lee-Nichols House and garden, 1987-1988
- 170-177: Winthrop Square Park.
See also #180+.
- 178. Workshops, recipes, etc., n.d.
- 179m. Metal plate with two flowers, two stamps of flowers, two decorated nametags by Esther
Pullman and Pat Pratt.
In Box 21.
- 180+. Plans, blueprints, designs: estate of Charles W. Eliot, by Herbert L. Flint, 1909,
and Warren H. Manning, 1910 (watercolor); Winthrop Square Park by Brown and Rowe,
ca.1986; Fresh Pond: includes map of right-of-way paths on property of Boston and
Maine Railroad; Spring Flower Show, 1960, 1962, 1964-1965, 1983; Mrs. Allyn Forbes'
garden at Fayerweather Street and York Harbor Maine by Margaret F. Barnes, Stanley
Underhill, Fletcher Steele
- Carton 18. Color slides: Fresh Pond, Cambridge trees, members' gardens, etc.
- Series IV. OTHER ASSOCIATIONS
- 181-196v: Garden Club of America
- 181. Correspondence, 1967
- 182. Reports, 1976-1986, correspondence, Bulletin, etc.
- 183. Founders Fund award proposal and correspondence re: glass flowers at Harvard, 1976-1977
- 184. Founders Fund award correspondence, 1984-1986
- 186-193: Zone I meetings
- 188. 1984-1986; membership.
- 190. Clubs, etc., 1989-1990
- 191. National meeting, Washington D.C., 1991, etc.
- 194v. GCA Handbook, 1983-1985
- 195v. Winds of Change, 1963-1988
- 196v. Fifty Blooming Years, 1913-1963: The Garden Club of America
- 197m-203: Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts.
See also #20.
- 197m. Gavel given in honor of 60th anniversary, Jan. 10, 1949
In Box 21.
- 198. Yearbooks, 1949-1951
- 199. Yearbooks, 1957-1959
- 200. Correspondence, clippings, 1957-1959
- 201v. Program and correspondence, 1957-1961
- 202. Newsletters, 1958, 1962
- 203. Handbook and program, 1985-1986
- 204m-205m: Memorabilia from Massachusetts Horticultural Society
- 204m. Silver medal for "Group of House Plants," on MHS's 100th anniversary March, 1929.
- 205m. Silver medal from MHS to "Cambridge Plant Club, First of its Kind," n.d.
Cambridge Plant and Garden Club
Eliot, Charles William, 1834-1926
Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts
Garden Club of America
Howe, Lois Lilley, 1864-1964
Manning, Warren H. (Warren Henry), 1860-
Massachusetts Horticultural Society
Cambridge Common (Cambridge, Mass.)
Cambridge (Mass.)-Clubs and societies
Conservation of natural resources-Massachusetts-Citizen
Flower arrangement shows-Massachusetts
Fresh Pond Reservation (Cambridge, Mass.)
Hooper-Lee-Nichols House-Cambridge (Mass.)
Land use-Massachusetts-Planning-Citizen participation
Longfellow House-Cambridge (Mass.)