Ironton Garden Club turns 80

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In 1928, 10 Ironton women got together and formed a club. Not earth-shattering news, but the fact that Ironton Garden Club is still in existence 80 years later is.

On Tuesday, the garden club got together to celebrate its birthday. The first order of business was a proclamation from Mayor Rich Blankenship making April 29 “Ironton Garden Club Day.”

“I think it is truly unbelievable that we have this type of community involvement and people willing to serve our city, I think it is a wonderful thing and I would like for it to continue,” he said. “I’ll tell you what, 80 years is a long time and I certainly would like to see it go for another 80.”

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Garden club member Doris Hannon joined 11 years ago because of her mother-in-law who was a long-time member.

“After I retired from teaching, she said, ‘Now you can join too,’” Hannon said. “But I’ve enjoyed it. It’s a great social gathering.”

The original name of the club was the Plain Dirt Gardeners.

“That’s what we are too,” Hannon said. “There’s no white gloves here.”

Hannon said that according to the garden club records, the first meeting was on April 16, 1928. That makes it one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in Ohio.

And things haven’t changed too much in the club’s mission of making Ironton beautiful. One of the first acts of the newly formed garden club was a request to the city government to cut weeds along the streets of the town.

Now the 25 members of the Ironton Garden Club has a couple big projects including keeping the grounds of the Lawrence County Historical Museum looking nice and maintaining the War Memorial planter on the Lawrence County Courthouse lawn.

Carolyn Carter, the garden club’s president, joined about seven years ago after she moved back from Columbus. She decided to join several civic clubs and joined the Ironton Garden Club because of her love of gardening.

“I thoroughly enjoy the garden club because you produce something in the yard that everyone enjoys,” she said.

She thinks the club has survived the decades because of the enthusiasm of its members.

“They love to plant and have nice things around their house,” Carter said. “I love flowers and everyone you talk to her loves plants.”

And, she added, because they want to make Ironton beautiful.

The club is involved with Ironton in Bloom and has sponsored a pole and a hanging basket that will be downtown.