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Historical Highlights

1930  OAGC founded by Professor Victor H. Ries, of The Ohio State University; first issue of The Garden Path was published the fall of 1930

1931  First flower show held in Columbus; first convention held October 7, 1931 at the Neil House, 325 members attended; OAGC had 80 clubs with over 25% from the Cincinnati area

1933  First judges’ school held; OAGC had 158 clubs; Flower Shows, written by Victor H. Ries published and used in the flower show schools; The Garden Path first published

1934  Professor Ries elected as secretary of The Association, a position he held until 1960

1937 The 8 original districts were increased to 14 (there was no district 13 and districts 14 and 15 were combined); 11 sets of “Lantern” slides were available for rent for $1.00 each

1941 347 clubs with 9640 members statewide

1943 OAGC became a member of the Ohio Victory Garden Council and sponsored a state-wide coordinated Victory Garden program; the Constitution was revised to “all terms of office are for two years and no board member shall hold office more than two years except the secretary and the treasurer”; due to WW II, convention was not held

1945  Nature Study Camp was created with Mrs. Carmen Warner as first president; OAGC seal designed by Mark Russell, an outstanding Ohio Gardener and artist; judges’ school held

1946  Junior Garden Club department was formed; Grace Ray Moon became The Garden Path editor, a position she held for 20 years, hand addressing and mailing each issue from her home; second judges’ school completed with 89 judges accredited

1947  Publicity contest was established; OAGC had 411 clubs with 12,347 members

1948  Flowering crabapple tree project began with 5,000 trees being planted along U.S. highways 25, 31 and 33 from Toledo to Pomeroy; illustrated Garden Record compiled by Mrs. Frank Garry

1950 The “Johnny Appleseed Trailway” dedication ceremonies were held at the annual convention, thus naming the crabapple trail from Toledo to Pomeroy; first flower show held in conjunction with convention; Victor H. Ries Outstanding Garden Club Award established in honor of Professor Ries’ 20 years of service

1951  Awards were given to outstanding regional gardeners; OAGC established the Typical Junior Gardener Contest and Outstanding Junior Garden Club award

1952  Bylaws were amended to include Regional Directors as official state officers; office of OAGC state second vice president established; The Garden Path editor term could exceed two years; state chairs increased to include: OAGC Promotion and Awards, State Fair and Nature and Conservation; “Lantern” slides became the Kodachrome Slide Contest, 67 slide sets were available for club use; Regional Outstanding Gardener award renamed Christine Traquair Award honoring Mrs. Traquair for 22 years serving as treasurer and a charter member; Ohio launched “Plant Ohio” tree planting campaign, with Mrs. Rex Moreland serving on the committee which resulted in planting 25 million trees throughout Ohio

1953  An OAGC goal was the elimination of Ohio’s roadside billboards; President’s Handbook revised; OAGC had 18,382 members in 635 clubs

1954  County Fair Flower Show contest created

1955  OAGC’s 25th Anniversary; President Daisy Sticksel gave the motto “Knowing, Growing, Showing and Sharing”; Greenfield Publishing Company chosen to publish The Garden Path and maintained the address file; Ohio Governor Lausche legalized the naming of Johnny Appleseed Highway begun in 1948; Region16 formed by taking portions of Regions 3, 4 and 5

1956  The Victor H. Ries Fellowship Fund for graduate students in Floriculture was created at The Ohio State University (administered by OSU); The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs Handbook was revised; OAGC had 900 clubs and 20,000 members; the Master Gardener Award is created; office of OAGC state third vice president is established

1957  OAGC endorsed and participated in the Anti- Litter Campaigns; Ohio tax-stamp refunds earmarked for the Johnny Appleseed Highway; Professor Ries retires from OSU

1959  OAGC incorporated; districts were renamed Regions to correspond with the term “Regional Director”; Exhibitors’ & Judges’ Handbook published; Flower Show Handbook published

1960  Service Award was established recognizing members who give outstanding service to OAGC; OAGC Handbook for Garden Clubs revised; Garden Therapy Department created

1961  OAGC entered into an agreement with the Ohio Historical Society regarding Wahkeena, property of Carmen Warner, an OAGC member who willed the property to the Ohio Historical Society; OAGC raised $20,000 which was donated to Wahkeena; first Gardeners Day Out was held in Xenia

1962  Gardening Manual and the Flower Arrangement Book #1 published; Daisy Sticksel Conservation Award created; Victor H. Ries Fellowship Fund at OSU topped the goal of $40,000; OAGC received a grant from Sears, Roebuck and Co. for public beautification purposes which continued to 1974; OAGC state assistant secretary position created; OAGC began supervision of flower show at the Ohio State Fair

1965 Top Flight Gardener program begun; “Plants a Gardener Should Know” pamphlet printed

1967  Flower Arrangements #2 printed; zip codes are required for mailing The Garden Path

1968  Published a Flower Arrangement Calendar book; Revised OAGC Handbook for Garden Clubs

1969  OAGC published another calendar book both in conjunction with Hearthside Press; the American Horticultural Medal was first offered

1970  Revised Exhibitors’ & Judges’ Handbook

1971  Published our own OAGC calendar book

1972  President Mrs. Paul W. Reed established the Reed Award for a junior for the study of birds

1973  OAGC sold 63,000 spruce seedlings, 2,500 dogwood whips and 2,500 tulip poplars

1974  Past President Mrs. Kenneth (Gladys) Thomas established the Gladys Thomas Award honoring outstanding judges; OAGC Founder Victor H. Ries died; OAGC Handbook for Garden Clubs was revised; sold 110,000 fir and redbud seedlings

1976 Knowing, Showing and Sharing Ohio Wildflowers published by OAGC, an idea began in 1965; Flower Arrangements #3 printed; “Garden for the Senses” at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio began; OAGC sold 25,000 scotch pine seedlings

1977  2nd edition of Knowing, Showing and Sharing Ohio Wildflowers printed; President Nadine Elder created the Ohio State University Horticulture Scholarship; Christine Traquair Award renamed Regional Outstanding Amateur Gardener Award; Regional Outstanding Garden Club Member Award established

1978  Victor H. Ries Memorial Garden created at the Benjamin Wegerzyn Garden Center, Dayton, Ohio; 1st bulb sale with the Dutch Bulb Company held

1979  Ground breaking ceremony held to develop 5 acres for “Garden for the Senses” at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

1980  50th Anniversary of OAGC celebrated by a tree sale of 15,700 spruce and pine seedlings; OAGC had 565 clubs with 11,000 members and 99 accredited flower show judges; Region 3 had the most clubs, Region 9 had most members; recognized 23 OAGC clubs organized for 50 years; revised Exhibitors’ and Judges’ Handbook

1982  Completed project of “Garden for the Senses” at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio; revamped The Garden Path layout and its logo

1983  Computerized membership mailing and moved the printing of The Garden Path to Ohio Valley Printing Company at Gallipolis, Ohio

1984  OAGC Endowment Fund established; revised OAGC Handbook for Garden Clubs; established the Regional Outstanding Garden Club contest; Shedenhelm Award created by Mrs. Paul Shedenhelm for juniors interested in nature and conservation; Home Flower Show contest established

1985  OAGC Foundation became a reality; 1st bus tour – Nashville, Tennessee – two buses

1986  1st monetary gift to the OAGC Foundation from Fenske Estate; bus tour - Philadelphia Flower Show - one bus; VHS tapes added to slide library

1987  Bus tour - Callaway Gardens - four buses; executive committee met with dignitaries from AmeriFlora to see how OAGC could become involved; 1st OAGC Foundation Scholarship awarded

1988  OAGC tour - Hawaii - group of 20; OAGC clubs participated in the planting of gardens at the Ohio State Fair Fairgrounds with gardens judged and monetary gifts awarded; Cedar Bog boardwalk project completed

1989  Bus tour - Charleston, SC - four buses; Mary Alice Earhart Award established for Adult Best of Show in horticulture at Convention

1990  Alice Dallas’ book Alpha to Omega published; Bus tour - Canada, Boston, etc. - five buses; Membership Incentive Award established by Jan Harmon and Ruth Waller

1991  19 clubs participated in the Ohio State Fair Fairgrounds beautification project/contest; Public Beautification certificates created

1992  AmeriFlora ‘92 held in Columbus, Ohio, at Franklin Park; $25,000 raised in monetary and planting donations to plant OAGC-sponsored gardens; Mohican School in the Out-of-Doors new OAGC project, $25,000 goal; Bus tour - Williamsburg, Roanoke, Washington D.C., etc. - three buses

1993  OAGC Cruise - Bahamas - 34 on tour; The Garden Path format changes

1994  OAGC bus tour to Toronto - five buses; Exhibitors’ and Judges’ Handbook revised

1994  Ohio Mason Publishing Company started printing The Garden Path; Junior Garden Club Handbook printed

1995  Bus tour - Michigan - three buses; Gardeners’ Delight cookbook printed

1996  Bus tour - Branson, Missouri - five buses; Wahkeena Nature Preserve Improvement Fund created; Design Study Department created; the slide/video contest now includes photographs

1997  Bus tour - Springtime in the South (Callaway Gardens) - five buses; Faye Collins Designer of the Year Contest established; Bus tour - Oglebay and Wheeling, West Virginia - one bus; OAGC dues raised from $2.50 to $5, member-at-large dues raised from $5 to $10; Wahkeena Nature Preserve ponds and spillway reconstructed with OAGC funds

1998  Bus tour - Pennsylvania/Longwood Gardens; OAGC bylaws amended; OAGC Handbook for Garden Clubs revised; Regional Outstanding Amateur Junior Gardener Award established; OAGC friend and floral design instructor Bob Thomas died; OAGC Foundation Scholarships increased to $750 each

1999  Bus tour - Savannah/Charleston - three buses; Judge Emeritus status established; FayeCollins Designer of the Year Award created

2000  Bus tour - New Orleans - five buses; Website created and Website liaison added; Master Design Judge designation created

2001  OAGC Foundation Scholarships increased to $1000 each; Bus tour - Chicago and Wisconsin - three buses

2002  Bus tour - New England - five buses; Wahkeena Landscape Fund created in the OAGC Foundation

2003  Tour - Pacific Northwest - 40 on tour; bus tour - Canadian Cities - two buses; past president Dottie Bates enshrined into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame

2004  Bus tour - Philadelphia Flower Show - one bus; fall bus tour - Black Hills, South Dakota - three buses; three $1000 OAGC Foundation scholarships awarded

2005  OAGC celebrates 75 years; bus tour - Grand Tour of Michigan - two buses; four $1000 OAGC Foundation scholarships awarded; fall tour - Nashville/Asheville Christmas - one bus

2006  Fall bus tour – Washington D.C. / Williamsburg; four $1000 OAGC Foundation scholarships awarded; established a separation of OAGC, Inc and OAGC Foundation, Inc.

2007  Bus tour - Holland Tulip Festival Mother’s Day Treat; fall bus tour - Golden Isles of Georgia/South Carolina - two buses; OAGC- branded email boxes established; 50th Anniversary of Wahkeena Nature Preserve

2008  The Garden Path available on-line at the OAGC website; printing of The Garden Path moved to Corner Print Shop in Beavercreek, Ohio; five $1000 OAGC Foundation scholarships awarded

2009  OAGC bylaws revised; fall bus tour - Grand Tour of Pennsylvania; Archival Manager liaison position created

2010  OAGC celebrated 80 years; Exhibitors and Judges School cycle revised (cycle is 4 schools over 2 year period); OAGC Handbook for Garden Clubs revised; 24 garden clubs participated in the Salt Fork State Park Cabin Beautification project

2011  Bus tour – Boston for World Flower Show – two buses; Bole Award ceases and OAGC Medalist Competition begins; first OAGC Foundation Hike for Health – FDN - held at Wahkeena Nature Preserve. Mohican School in the Out-of-Doors becomes fifty years old

2012  Junior Advisor Handbook is updated and published; Foundation Scholarships increase to 4 and to $2,000 with a tribute to Dr. Gary Anderson; 2nd FDN Hike for Health held at Cedar Bog Nature Preserve; editing underway for Handbook for Exhibitors and Judges; Master Gardener Award renamed to OAGC Gardener of the Year; Challenge Class added to Convention Flower Show; Wahkeena management assumed by the Fairfield County Historical Parks Commission

2013  Ohio bus trip – “Wine, Wit and Wisdom” – 40 on tour; dues increase to $7; archival materials accepted by the Ohio Historical Society; partnered with OHS to revitalize native plantings; 3rd FDN Hike for Health held at Mohican School in the Out-of-Doors

2014  International trip to Ireland, 42 travel to Dublin and the World Flower Show, June 11- 19; Exhibitors and Judges School returns to a 3-year, 12-day cycle; Ohio Historical Society renamed to Ohio History Connection; four Foundation Scholarships given and increased to $2,000 due to available funds, including Doris Schuster Memorial awarded to a former OAGC junior, Stephanie Cech; 4th FDN Hike for Health held at Black Swamp Bird Observatory. At the 2014 Convention, 24 clubs participated in the first functional table setting contest. This was an elaborate wedding theme for eight

2015  OAGC bylaws amended to reflect the change from 3 to 2 vice-presidents; creation of strategic planning committee leading to a change in the logo, mission and vision statements; Foundation Scholarships increased to seven due to finances; OAGC website redesigned; OAGC Foundation received required funds to establish a scholarship named for Dottie Bates

2016  Bus tour – Philadelphia Flower Show; Handbook for Exhibitors and Judges revised; established partnership with Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) at the ODNR park at The Ohio State fairgrounds

2017  A second international trip to Ireland held with 32 in attendance

2018  Bus tour – Philadelphia Flower Show; Accredited flower show judges/38; Judge Emeritus/29; OAGC membership/2,878; GDO - Cambridge, Ohio to visit the Dickens Victorian Village display

2019  Handbook for Garden Clubs revised; Bus tour – Philadelphia Flower Show; established a Foundation scholarship named for past president Naomi Shepard; April GDO - Cincinnati Botanical Garden & Zoo; October - Exhibitors' and Judges' School Development committee created to make suggestions for improvement of the OAGC schools and judging process

2020  The world was hit with the Sars-coV-2 (covid) pandemic. OAGC cancelled the 2020 State convention; January - OAGC purchased Zoom subscription to provide virtual programming and meetings; Summer - First virtual Exhibitors' and Judges' School by Zoom; October - Garden Path printed in color, Sally Ruth became the GP editor, Herald Printing, Inc. the printer

2021  Revised website and changed provider to A-1 Printing; June/July/August - The covid pandemic continued and OAGC used the Zoom platform to host a the first 3-part virtual version of the State convention by Zoom;  Clubs sent out emails or letters updating their members; August - GDO, Lakeside Chautauqua, Marblehead, Ohio

2022  April - Garden Symposium "Come Grow with Us", Celina, Ohio 150 attendees; August - Dues increase to $12/member and $15/MAL; October - GDO, Dawes Arboretum, Newark, Ohio; Marketing Department Chair created; Emily LeVan appointed as the first Marketing Department Chair

2023  January - YouTube channel created @OhioAssociationOfGardenClubs ; new Instagram channel launched @OAGC_Jr ; republished Flower Shows: Their Organization, Management, and Judging by Victor H. Ries;  Revised website and changed provider to Wild Apricot; MAL updated to Individual Member


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