Mrs. G. H. Coates Sr. of the Coates Thread Company family founded SCGC in September 1947. At the time, she was one of the few accredited National Garden Club flower show judges in the Atlanta area.
“Yearbooks of the early years, display the names of many prominent families in the east Cobb area, with their addresses listed as Route 3 and telephone numbers of only six digits,” said Karin Guzy, a member since 1997.
Yearbooks record well-known names like Dickerson, a large family in east Cobb. Mrs. T.J. Ovbey is listed as living at Twin Oaks. “Her family still lives at the property on Post Oak Tritt,” Guzy said.
Others like Ovbey listed the names of their properties in lieu of street addresses: Mrs. M. A. Ross of Sunnybrook Farm, Mrs. A. R. Miegel of Thunderwood Farm, Mrs. A. Loudermilk of Home Sweet Home, and Mrs. Floyd Spruill, of Chattahoochee River Farm, part of which is now McFarlane Nature Park where a number of members volunteer today.
The club profits from the knowledge of many long established members like Irene Gantt who joined in 1957, and Shirley Dobbins who joined in 1960. They continue their history of assistance to the Cobb County community. One of the many things they have done to benefit the area is to help fund the Marietta Educational Garden Center, a project that remains today.
The name of the club was inspired by their desire to landscape and beautify the area around the covered bridge that originally crossed Sope Creek on Paper Mill Rd. “When the covered bridge burned, in 1964, the members urged then County Commissioner Ernest Barrett to address rebuilding the historic bridge,” Guzy said.
Landscaping continues to be a focus of SCGC. The club has planted 74 trees at Fullers and Terrill Mill Parks along with memorial trees at McFarlane Nature Park.
SCGC maintains the traditions established by the early club. In the 1960’s, the club participated in and sponsored flower shows, studied floral design and how to enter horticultural specimens. Today, many members actively participate in the North Georgia State Fair Flower Shows. “Shirley Dobbins is judging chair, Vy Shinn serves as design consultant, (I) write the schedules and chair horticultural classification, and Ruth Rood heads up entry placement. Many other members assist in preparing the display space, entry placement, and as judges’ clerks, in addition to entering their own cut specimens and floral designs for competition,” she said.
Member of SCGC have also worked with the Marietta Educational Garden Center Council. Pat Weaver served as president, Ruth Rood served for a decade as secretary, and both Vy Shinn and Guzy acted as education chairs.
SCGC currently meets on the first Wednesday of the month from September through June at Eastminster Presbyterian Church on Sewell Mill Road. Cobb County Master Gardener Kathy Griggs is president. Plans for the upcoming year reflect the same interests the club had in the beginning. Field trips and education top the bill with speakers scheduled to discuss growing mushrooms and making hypertufa.