Flowers at the Northfield Public LibraryDid you know May 30 – July 4 is the first-ever Northfield History Month? Learn more about the events here.

Every weekday this Northfield History Month, come on over to the Northfield History Collaborative to learn a little more about one of the newest additions to our online collection of materials that help tell Northfield’s history.

It was wise of the Northfield Garden Club to compile a club history upon its 50th anniversary in 2000. That comprehensive document, among their archives in residence at the Northfield Historical Society, is now available at the Northfield History Collaborative.

Northfield’s Garden Club was established November 5, 1950, after the nearby Little Prairie Garden Club was getting too big. That really surprised me!

Throughout its lifetime, the club has featured monthly presentations, largely by members, on a particular tip, gardening issue or type of flower.

The history’s author interviewed some Garden Club members upon their 50th anniversary about the impact the club had had on them. Here’s what she wrote:

People seemed to feel that the club’s most outstanding contribution to the town has been the community gardens, culminating in the success of the Flowers Along Division efforts. Members tell me they learn a lot from the programs, and enjoy the mix of people in the club, which represents a good cross-section of the community. The many activities and committees give people a place to serve and an outlet for their creativity, and a large-enough group of workers to share the load.. .and the fun!

Here’s a look back to some of their earlier activity, in 1961:

The club decided to continue its mission of beautifying Northfield by planting flowers and shrubs. Specifically, they continued to plant and maintain Bridge Square beds, gave rose bushes for the center circle in Central Park, and budgeted $200 for plantings at a new park on land the city purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Lester Linton. The club continued to fight to preserve the park at Bridge Square. Mrs. Van Slyke wrote a letter to the editor against the merchants’ campaign to create a parking lot in that space. She noted that the square was established at the suggestion of city founder John North.

The history’s author also made one other interesting observation: 1978 was the first year that the club records referred to members by their first names rather than their husband’s names (Mrs. Jane Doe rather than Mrs. John Doe.)