Trustees' Garden Club

Founding of the Trustees' Garden Club

Right: Mrs. Wymberley Wormsloe DeRenne—First President
Left: Original club seal


On February 15, 1926, a group of ladies met at the Public Library located on Bull Street for the purpose of organizing a Garden Club in Savannah. Inspired by the enthusiasm of a member of the Peachtree Garden Club in Atlanta, Mrs. Jesse Draper, a plan for forming a garden club was decided upon. Invitations were extended to attend a meeting to organize a club and to elect officers. Mrs. Wymberly DeRenne was elected President. Dues were $1 a year. The first meeting of the club was held February 25 at the home of Mrs. Robert Harrison. A constitution and by-laws were offered for consideration and a plant sale was held. In March there was much discussion about a name for the club. Suggestions were: Garden Club of Savannah, Japonica, Jessamine and The Trustees’ Garden Club, which won. The garden club took its name from the first public garden in Georgia established in Savannah in 1734 as an experimental area to assess the viability of growing indigo and mulberry trees. The Trustees saw prosperity coming to the colonists in mulberry leaves and grape vines. They planned to manufacture drugs for the world and develop silk and wine industries. This was the beginning of Georgia’s plantations. The garden site, located in the downtown Historic District of Savannah, was an experiment to determine what would grow in the Georgia Colony. In this first year, these Garden Club ladies passed a motion protesting the use of sign boards on Victory Drive and county roads. They asked other clubs and societies to join them in protest. The garden club was the first to take charge of the garden in front of the Telfair Academy of Art. Special committees were appointed: Plants and Seeds, Library, Publicity, Topics and Activities, Garden Hints and Questions, Conservation and Excursions. 

Mrs. Clarence Gordon Anderson, Jr.

Mrs. Jefferson Randolph Anderson

Mrs. Robert Billington

Mrs. Frank Miller Chisholm

Mrs. James Alfred Pearce Crisfield

Mrs. Clifford Wayne Cunningham

Mrs. Wymberley Wormsloe DeRenne—President

Mrs. William Washington Gordon, Jr.

Mrs. Robert Clifford Harrison

Mrs. Thomas Hilton

Miss Caroline Pinckney Huger

Mrs. Charlesworth James Hunter

Mrs. Tracy Gould Hunter

Mrs. Lester Karow

Mrs. Alexander Robert Lawton—Treasurer

Mrs. Lawrence Lee—Secretary

Mrs. James Wallace McAlpin

Mrs. Robert Lee Mercer—Vice President

Mrs. Joseph Cheshire Nash

Miss Georgina Phillips

Mrs. Henry Blodgett Skeele

Mrs. Henry Dana Stevens

Miss Margaret Gray Thomas

Mrs. Antonio Johnston Waring

Mrs. Thomas Newell West