The Arlington Garden Club started in 1941, and somewhere along the way, began publishing a "yearbook" each year. We are grateful past generations have saved many of these small booklets. The earliest one we have is the yearbook from 1952. The cover was a hand-drawn outline of the state of Vermont, with a dot over Arlington and a hand-written label of "Arlington Garden Club" (see photo).
The officers for 1952 are recorded inside the yearbook, with some numbers which indicate their phone number, using and older system (114-3 or 141-4, see photo). The president was Mrs. Theodore Weinz, the Vice-President was Mrs. Arvis Johnson, and the Secretary was Mrs. Richard K. Miles (of Miles Lumber, which still operates in town today, in 2019). The members list in the back of the book includes several notable names, including famously, Dorothy Canfield Fisher who is listed as "Mrs. John Fisher"; in fact, all the married women were denoted by their husband's first and last name and not their own, (see photos).
The garden club was run much like it is to this day: monthly meetings began in the spring, and included educational programs, organized community projects, and provided decorations for the town of Arlington. The educational programs for 1952 included:
April 15 - Foundation Planting - Doorways, held at Mrs. McCabe's home
May 20 - Food and Lodging for the Birds, held at Mrs. Leadley's home
June 17 - Compost Making, held at Mrs. Whitesel's home
Sept. 16 - Herbs and How to Use Them, held at Mrs. Miles' home
There were how-to programs such as "Principles of Flower Arrangements", taught on July 15th, and trips to see "Open Gardens" or to take part in the Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont Annual Meeting. A flower show titled "Arrangements Thru the Years" was held on August 19th at the Arlington Memorial School. To beautify the town, Christmas decorations were made on December 16th at Mrs. Bedell's home.
Additionally, we can see what types of things the group focused on by looking into the list of committees. There were committees for horticulture, birds, conservation, publicity, the flower show, and one titled "Sick and Shut-In". The Arlington Garden Club of 1952 seemed to care for our community in many ways.
There is a "Projects for 1952" page which lists three specific Garden Club endeavors: "Landscaping the Rutland Railroad Station Grounds", "Maintenance of US Post Office and Town Office Grounds", and "Memorial Day Planting of the War Memorial in High School Athletic Field" (today located on the front yard of the Fisher Elementary School).
It is interesting to look back and see what was happening with the garden club in Arlington in 1952. It is somehow reassuring to see the goals and programs of today's garden club so closely align to its historical work through the decades.