Listen: Garden clubs have helped Superior flourish – Superior Telegram


Garden clubs have flourished in Superior for many decades, not only beautifying the town, but also influencing change. Even today, their plantations and their footprints can be found in Superior. The clubs usually consisted of a group of women who got together and worked on the gardens in their area. It was a social outlet where they bonded over gardening and cared for community gardens in public places.

“It always seemed like they were doing something for someone else, for the good of the community,” said local historian and retired librarian Teddie Meronek.

Meronek has researched their impact on the community when the clubs were actively operating from the 1920s through the 1990s. On this month’s episode of Archive Dive, Meronek shares the origins of Superior’s first garden club. The Superior Garden Club, later known as the Central Garden Club, was organized in 1926 by sisters Mabel Stratton and Faith Kennedy. Their passion for gardening comes from their father, Robert Kelly, director of The Land and River Improvement Company.

Turns out Mabel and Faith weren’t the only gardening enthusiasts. They were going to cap their registration at 30, but everyone in town wanted to belong to the club. In 1939, Superior had the largest garden club in the state, with nearly 300 people. Eventually, the club would be split into auxiliaries, sometimes by neighborhood. Other garden clubs formed and spread throughout Douglas County.

“They loved those flowers, loved gardening, and just wanted everyone to enjoy them as much as they did,” Meronek said.

Club members learned landscaping, organized flower shows and events, sponsored school clubs, and were ahead of their time in promoting the planting of gardens that would attract bees, birds, and wildlife. wildlife. The clubs also kept their notebooks, addresses, newspaper clippings and photos in albums as colorful as the gardens they tended.

New episodes of Archive Dive are released monthly. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts. If you have an idea for a topic you would like to see covered, email Maria Lockwood at



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