Lakeshore Garden Club: A walk with them through time

This is a synopsis of a program presented on February 27, 2020 to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of the Lake Shore Garden Club, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Reference sources included personal interviews, past year books and inquiries with a local historical society. It should be noted that three of the current club members are second-generation members, as their mothers were also club members.

1949 – Lake Shore Garden Club organized and federated with the Wisconsin Garden Club Federation and the National Council of State Garden Clubs. Meetings were held the 4th Thursday of the month at 2 pm and at a member’s home. Membership was 15 members. The dress was formal, a dress, a hat and gloves. Fur collars adorned coats. Each member was expected to bring a flower arrangement to a meeting. They had educational programs including a program on Soil Improvement and a Field Trip to Evergreen Park, a city park to conduct a tree identification.

1952 – Membership was still 15 members. However, membership was limited to 16. Their 3rd Anniversary Party was held at the Bismarck Penthouse, a poplar local venue for social gatherings. The address of the Bismarck is 830 North 8th Street in downtown Sheboygan. Today, the building houses the offices of the Sheboygan Symphony.

1959-Membership had grown to 18, with a limit of 20. Their Anniversary Dinner was held at Riverdale, a southside Sheboygan venue.  The program consisted of a travelogue on Portugal and Hawaii. The club did garden projects at the Girl Scout Home and at the Sheboygan County Hospital/Asylum.

1965-Membership was 17, with a limit of 20. The Anniversary Banquet was held at Fountain Park Inn, a downtown Sheboygan site. The program presented by Mae Saemann included her slides of Australia and the World’s Fair, held in New York. The club engaged in a Therapy Program, working with residents at the Sheboygan County Hospital/Asylum. Moreover, the club provided and maintained bird feeders at the County Hospital and at Rocky Knoll, a tuberculosis hospital at the time.

1967-The club began the “Heritage of Trees” project which extended into the 1990’s. Trees and shrubs were planted at six schools: Lyman, James Madison, Cooper, Sheridan, Pigeon River and Horace Mann. At Lyman School, the club in a 4-year period planted 60 trees and 63 shrubs. At Cooper School, in a 2-year period, the club planted 25 trees and 100 shrubs. Trees were also planted at the Elwood H. May Environmental Park and included Serviceberry and a Kentucky Coffee Tree. Monies were raised through Trash n Treasure Sales, Fruit Cake Sales and bus tours to horticulture sites in Milwaukee and Chicago.

1985-An Anniversary Luncheon was held at the Rainbows End, a popular restaurant at the time. The site in downtown Sheboygan currently, houses a Subway Shop.

Along with continuing with “Heritage of Trees”, the club started a recycling project. Items were collected and on the 3rd Saturday of the month, taken to the Sheboygan Municipal Building on New Jersey Avenue.

1992-A second-generation member Nancy Lorenz was President. Educational programs focused on State Parks not only in the local area, but also in the State of Wisconsin. One program was especially noteworthy, it focused on the Interstate. At the time, the Interstate was a controversial subject, due to consideration on usage of good farmland and the disruption of wildlife.

1997-Marilyn Freye was our President. The club had 21 members. The theme was “House Plants-Pride of Our Home”. The club’s aim was “A better life through travel and communication within our states”.

2003-Doris Weber became President. She remains our current President. A thank you to Doris for 17 years of service and enabling our garden club to grow. Membership was 21 with a goal to increase membership to 35.

Today, 2020-Our club is still going strong!

* 46 members

* 5 beautification projects as The Hummingbird Garden at Elwood H. May Environmental Park

* 6 fund-raising projects as the annual Plant, Tag and Bake Sale at the Kiwanis Park Field House

* 12 community contributions as the Bookworm membership and Trees for Tomorrow       scholarships

* 3 event participations as the annual Sheboygan Area Garden Walk.

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