CAMDEN — Earlier this month, the Camden Garden Club began the major undertaking of archiving its historic records. On March 4, 10 club members met at the Camden Library History Center to receive instructions from archivist Heather Bilodeau on what to keep and how to organize and preserve the Garden Club’s history. They continue to meet Friday afternoons and plan to finish the project well before the club’s centennial celebration in 2015.
Many significant details have been found so far. Minutes from the organization of the club on March 4, 1915, at the home of Mrs. Dudley Talbot, 1 High St., are of particular interest since the Camden Garden Club was the first garden club in the state of Maine. Then on June 3, 1931, the Camden Garden Club hosted the chartering of the Garden Club Federation of Maine Inc. at “Undercliffe” on Bayview Street, which at that time was the home of Mrs. Ernest A. Robbins, president of the Camden Garden Club. She was elected the first president of the Garden Club Federation of Maine, and Miss Bessie Bowers was elected treasurer. The founding federation consisted of club representatives from Portland, Damariscotta, Belfast, Thomaston, Rockland and Camden, and its formation was inspired by a visit to Maine by Mrs. Frederic Kellogg of Morristown, N.J., who was president of the National Council of State Garden Club Federations.
In the process of inventorying the numerous boxes of records, it was surmised that there are materials in attics, closets and basements. If anyone is aware of these “gems,” e-mail Judy McGuirk at firstname.lastname@example.org or items may be delivered to the library’s history center noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.