After nearly 25 years of service to the community of Jewett and Harrison County, the Jewett Garden Club now ceases to exist.
The final meeting of the group was held in December before Christmas at JC Wine Cellars in East Springfield, an event that brought past and present members together for a luncheon and gift exchange.
In May 1988, some members of the Hopedale Garden Club met with interested citizens of the Jewett area, and the Jewett Garden Club officially began June 2, 1988.
Its first officers were Bill Wiley, president; Jeannie Miser, first vice president; Millie Anderson, second vice president; Sharon Lee, secretary; and John Laughlin, treasurer.
Claren Blackburn of the Hopedale Garden Club had invited anyone interested in forming a club to attend that meeting. She stayed on as adviser and became a member.
Aside from the officers and adviser, other charter members included Phyllis Wile, Earl and Charlotte Curry, Maxine Patton, Dale Miser, Twyla Thompson, Isabelle and Edgar Wallace, Betty Laughlin and Gloria Kennedy.
Other members joined within the first four to five years, including Gwen Stewart, Marion Frye, Dale and Doris Busby, Virginia Couch, Brenda Wallace, and Brenda and Geraldine Hoobler.
The Jewett Garden Club elected to concentrate its beautification efforts mainly on Jewett and the surrounding area. They tackled projects such as welcome signs and planters at the entrances to town; flower barrels and flowering trees along Main Street; decorating the barrels at Christmastime; and providing swags for town and business buildings.
There were garden tours, flower workshops, Arbor Day plantings, school plantings involving students, the garden at Jewett Community Park, picnics, hayrides, luncheons, visits by garden speakers and joining with other area clubs for programs.
"Over the years, we became good friends and enjoyed the camaraderie with others who enjoyed the art of gardening as much as we did, and what made our club so special was the fact that both men and women equally participated in all the beautification projects," said Claren Blackburn, club president.
"As we grow older, with health concerns, moving away, other interests and loss of so many dear members, the time has come to go our separate ways," Blackburn said in a news release. "We've loved every minute of it. We will remember our members and friends, and we mourn the loss of those who died too soon."
The club's final project was planting spring daffodils and tulips in front of the Jewett Post Office.
"We thank all the Jewett citizens for their support and encouragement over the years. It was a great ride," Blackburn said.