Michigan Horticultural Society Records
00163

Summary Information

Repository
Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Title
Michigan Horticultural Society records
ID
00163
Date [inclusive]
1932-1971
Extent
2.0 Cubic feet
Language
English

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Historical Note

The Michigan Horticultural Society (MHS) was founded in 1932 by a group of Detroit area people, principally Mrs. Lloyd L. (Marion) Hughes of Detroit. The Society's first officers included Earl D. Burke of Lansing, President; Mrs. W.D. Thompson and Mrs. Lloyd L. Hughes, Vice-President; E. Genevieve Gillete of Ann Arbor, Secretary; and Fred W. Robinson, Treasurer. Paul Krone, an extension specialist at Michigan State, also figured prominently in the early development of MHS.

Although it was formed during the Great Depression, the Michigan Horticultural Society grew rapidly. By 1939, 24 regional chapters had been established in the state, with a total membership of 1125. The organization attracted amateur, professional, and commercial gardeners.

Patterned after the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, which was founded in 1845, the Michigan Horticultural Society was established to "stimulate interest in horticulture and to disseminate garden and horticultural information." MHS was concerned not only with home gardening, but also with civic and highway planting, garden education in schools, encouragement of commercial production of bulbs and seeds in Michigan, promotion of the art of landscaping, writing garden books, and the conservation of natural resources. Its founders expected the Society to become a powerful force in the state for protecting our natural resources. The bay tree, standing for nobility and excellence, was chosen as the organization's emblem. The Society was given space at City Colleges of Detroit to set up an office, but after World War II, Belle Isle became the Society's permanent home.

The first MHS flower shows in Detroit were merely booths set up in public halls where young women of social prominence sold nosegays to defray the Society's expenses. When Detroit florists took over the flower shows, exhibits varied from funeral arrangements to beds of red geraniums. From its inception in the mid-1930s, the annual "Spring Flower Show" became the hallmark of the Michigan Horticultural Society.

A major goal of MHS was fulfilled around 1943 when the Michigan Horticultural Society combined its book collection with the library of the Detroit Garden Center and formed the Garden Library of Michigan. The library, housed on Belle Isle, received a large collection of books from the family of Esther Longyear Murphy. Mrs. Murphy had been a trustee of MHS, chairman of the Prizes and Awards committee, and an active member of the Detroit Garden Center.

The Michigan Horticultural Society provided its members with lectures, workshops, and garden tours. Noted horticulturists and garden specialists from throughout the United States presented the lectures and workshops. Members also received a yearbook and a subscription to Horticultural News (renamed  Michigan Gardner, circa 1946). This horticultural magazine was directed primarily to Michigan gardeners. Unlike most gardening magazines of this period, which focused on general discussions about flowers and gardening,  Horticultural News published articles written by horticultural specialists who understood the diverse soil and climate of Michigan, and offered scientific advice for gardening in Michigan.

The Society also worked closely with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University horticultural departments. Many Michigan Horticultural Society trustees and officers over the years served on the faculties of the two Universities.

The Society's records reveal a financial crisis in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the rising cost of flowers and gardening supplies began to take its toil on the quality and success of flower shows.

NOTE: The Michigan Horticultural Society has no connection with the Michigan State Horticultural Society, which was founded in 1870. Partially subsidized by the State government until 1970, the Michigan State Horticultural Society is concerned more with promoting fruit farming than with flowers and private gardens.

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Scope and Content

This collection includes administrative files of the Michigan Horticultural Society (MHS), correspondence, brochures, and other materials from garden shows, publicity materials, early MHS publications, and photographs. More detailed information can be found under “Organization of the Records.”

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Organization of the Records

(1) ADMINISTRATIVE FILES. 1932-1971.

The administrative files document the administration and activities of the Michigan Horticultural Society from 1932 to 1971, with the majority of records being from 1936 to 1938. The earlier records -- created while the Society's original founders were still active -- are more detailed, especially the committee and financial records. The series lacks consistent records from 1965-1971.

(2) GARDEN SHOWS AND OTHER PROJECTS. 1938-1971.

The contents of this series provides a fairly detailed history of the M.H.S. garden shows and projects. Through correspondence, brochures and flower show judging sheets, the garden show files illustrate the evolution of the annual Spring Flower Show which was variously called the "Michigan Flower and Garden Exhibition", "The Spring Flower Show", and the "Builder's Home, Furniture, and Flower Show". The series also includes records of M.H.S.'s involvement in the Clara B. Ford Garden Forum.

(3) PUBLICITY. 1936-1970.

The publicity series spans 34 years with numerous gaps in the records. The series includes handwritten drafts of articles by Mrs. Lloyd L. (Marion) Hughes, radio scripts from the 1930s pertaining to the organization and gardening, newspaper clippings about MHS, and awards received by the Michigan Horticultural Society.

(4) PUBLICATIONS. 1932-1944, 1970.

This series consists mainly of early Michigan Horticultural Society publications including the first two MHS Yearbooks and the first issue of Horticulture News.

(5) MISCELLANEOUS. 1948-1961.

This series contains information related indirectly to the Michigan Horticultural Society. The MHS Library Collection file consist of three items from the organization's library. The Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr. Centennial Celebration file contains a variety of detailed information on the famed horticulturalist's life and accomplishments. Garden club, flower show, and miscellaneous horticultural information from a variety of sources reflect the Society's association with other horticulture groups and activities.

(6) PHOTOGRAPHS

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections March 1987

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824
517-355-2330
archives@msu.edu

Revision Description

   September 2002

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Gerald E. Draheim

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Photographs

Personal Name(s)

  • Bailey, L. H., (Liberty Hyde), 1858-1954
  • Draheim, Gerald E.
  • Hughes, Marion
  • Krone, Paul R.

Subject(s)

  • Botanical literature
  • Flower shows -- Michigan
  • Horticulture -- Periodicals
  • Horticulture -- Societies, etc.
  • Horticulture -- United States
  • Horticulturists

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Collection Inventory

(1) Administrative Files 1932-1971 

Scope and Contents note

The administrative files document the administration and activities of the Michigan Horticultural Society from 1932 to 1971, with the majority of records being from 1936 to 1938. The earlier records -- created while the Society's original founders were still active -- are more detailed, especially the committee and financial records. The series lacks consistent records from 1965-1971.

Box Folder

Bylaws 1932, undated 

1 1

Board of Trustees 

1
Box Folder

Board Members 1933-1970 

1 2

Minutes 1938-1970 

1 3

Correspondence 1941-1970 

1 4

Meetings and Attendance 1969-1971 

1 5

Executive Committee 

1
Box Folder

 1937 

1 6

Executive Correspondence 1938 - 1970, undated 

1 7

Finance Committee 

1
Box Folder

Minutes 1937, 1941 

1 8

Correspondence 1940-1948 

1 9

Operating Statements and Trial Balances 1941-1965 

1 10

Financial Records 

1
Box Folder

 1935-1936 

1 11

 1937-1938 

1 12

 1939 

1 13

 1940 

1 14

 1941 

1 15

 1942, undated 

1 16

Endowments 1938, undated 

1 17

History of M.H.S. 

1 18

M.H.S. Emblem 

1 19

Annual Meeting 

1
Box Folder

Annual Meeting 1942, 1961 - 1965 

1 20

Awards Presented 1936 - 1971, undated 

1 21

Bay Tree Award 1956 - 1957, 1961 

1 22

Midwinter Meeting 1965, 1971 

1 23

Committees 

1
Box Folder

Committees 1938 - 1941, undated 

1 24

Arboretum Committee 1937, 1964 

1 25

Bay Tree Committee 1956-1959 

1 26

Certified Garden Committee 1938 - 1940, undated 

1 27

Children's Judging Committee 

1
Box Folder

Minutes 1937 - 1942, undated 

1 28

Correspondence 1939, 1941 

1 29

Conservation Committee 1936-1938 

1 30

Esther Longyear Murphy. Medal Committee 1938 

1 31

Exhibition Committee 1932, 1936 - 1937 

1 32

Flower Show Committee 1935-1945 

1 33

Garden and Parks Committee 1936 - 1939, undated 

1 34

Horticultural News Committee 1935 - 1945, undated 

1 35

Hostess Committee 1940 

1 36

Lecture Committee 

1
Box Folder

Minutes and Lectures 1937 - 1940, undated 

1 37

Lecturers 1936 - 1940, undated 

1 38

Library Committee 1936 - 1942, undated 

1 39

Membership Committee 

1
Box Folder

Minutes 1936 - 1942, undated 

1 40

Correspondence 1938-1970 

1 41

Member List 1941 - 1960, undated 

1 42

Member Correspondence 1938, 1961, 1970 

1 43

Nominating Committee 1937 - 1939, 1970 

1 44

Prizes and Awards Committee 

1
Box Folder

Minutes 1935 - 1943, undated 

1 45

Correspondence 1940-1953 

1 46

Bastian Brothers Co. Correspondence 1940-1942 

1 47

Medallic Art Co. Correspondence 1940-1955 

1 48

H. R. Terryberry Co. Correspondence 1940-1942 

1 49

Awards to Win 1940 - 1941, undated 

1 50

Award Recommendations 1939-1965 

1 51

Award Winners, Correspondence 1938-1963 

1 52

Publications Committee 1935 - 1940, undated 

1 53

Regional Representative Committee 

1
Box Folder

Minutes 1935 - 1942, undated 

1 54

Regional Representative 1938 - 1941, undated 

1 55

Regional Representative Correspondence 1936, 1939, undated 

1 56

Regional Meetings 1938-1942 

1 57

Regional Reports 1937, 1939 

1 58

Roadside Improvement Committee 1938 

1 59

School Garden Committee 1936-1937 

1 60

Society Foundation Committee 1963 

1 61

Mailing List and Plate List 1968, 1970, undated 

1 62

Registrants 1958-1959 

1 63

Registrants 1960 - 1961, undated 

1 64

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(2) Garden Shows & Other Projects 1938-1971 

Scope and Contents note

The contents of this series provides a fairly detailed history of the M.H.S. garden shows and projects. Through correspondence, brochures and flower show judging sheets, the garden show files illustrate the evolution of the annual Spring Flower Show which was variously called the "Michigan Flower and Garden Exhibition", "The Spring Flower Show", and the "Builder's Home, Furniture, and Flower Show". The series also includes records of M.H.S.'s involvement in the Clara B. Ford Garden Forum.

Box Folder

Garden Shows 

2
Box Folder

Michigan Flower and Garden Exhibition 1938 - 1942, 1947 

2 1

Spring Flower Show 1956-1958 

2 2

Builders Home, Furniture, and Flower Show 1965-1971 

2 3

Builders Home, Furniture, and Flower Show 1958-1965 

2 4

Harvest Festival 1962-1969 

2 5

Miscellaneous Flower Shows 

2 6

Other Projects 

2
Box Folder

Clara B. Ford Garden Forum 

2
Box Folder

 1964 - 1965, 1970 - 1971 

2 7

Correspondence 1964 - 1965, 1970 - 1971 

2 8

Pierce School Project 1969-1970 

2 9

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(3) Publicity 1936-1970 

Scope and Contents note

The publicity series spans 34 years with numerous gaps in the records. The series includes handwritten drafts of articles by Mrs. Lloyd L. (Marion) Hughes, radio scripts from the 1930s pertaining to the organization and gardening, newspaper clippings about MHS, and awards received by the Michigan Horticultural Society.

Box Folder

Newspaper Clippings and Magazine Articles 

2 10

Radio Scripts 1936, 1938, undated 

2 11

Articles 1938, 1940 

2 12

Appreciation Awards 1962-1970 

2 13

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(4) Publications 1932 - 1944, 1970 

Scope and Contents note

This series consists mainly of early Michigan Horticultural Society publications including the first two MHS Yearbooks and the first issue of Horticultural News.

Box Folder

M.H.S. Yearbook 1932-1933 

2 14

Horticultural News 1934 - 1939, 1944 

2 15

Children's Bulletin 1940 

2 17

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(5) Miscellaneous 1948 - 1961 

Scope and Contents note

This series contains information related indirectly to the Michigan Horticultural Society. The MHS Library Collection file consist of three items from the organization's library. The Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr. Centennial Celebration file contains a variety of detailed information on the famed horticulturalist's life and accomplishments. Garden club, flower show, and miscellaneous horticultural information from a variety of sources reflect the Society's association with other horticulture groups and activities.

Box Folder

MHS Library Collection 1949, 1957, 1961 

2 18

Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr. Centennial Celebration 1948-1958 

2 19

Garden Clubs and Flower Shows 

2 20

Horticultural Gardens 1965, undated 

2 21

Miscellaneous Horticultural Information 

2 22

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(6) Photographs 

Scope and Content

This collection of photographs consists of Michigan horticulture topics. The photographs and postcards range from the late 1800's until the late 1960's. Supporting letters are included with some of the photographs and many sticky notes were left on the photographs that contained information about the subjects of the photographs. These sticky notes were made by the person who orginally processed the non-photographic materials of this collection. The topics depicted in the photographs include chapter photographs, home gardens, flower arrangements, flower shows, trees, etc. A note was attached to the photographs in folder 34 and reads as, " Many photos are tagged as being from Mrs. Fred T. Murphy. She was a member of M.H.S. She was an artyist and was considered a national authority on flower arrangements. Mrs. Murphy died c. 1934.

Box Folder

Annual Meeting, Awards of Merit 1963 

2 23

Awards, Plaques, Medals, and Monuments 1940-1968 

2 24

Builder's Home Furniture and Flower Show 1967 

2 25

Builder's Home Furniture and Flower Show, Shadow Box Arrangement 1965, 1933 

2 26

Chapter Photographs 

2 27

Flower Clock Arrangement, Flower Market 

2 28

Flower & Garden Exhibition 1930-1940 

2 29

French Pear Trees 1904,1934 

2 30

Horticulture Garden 

2 31

Mantel Piece Arrangements (Mrs. Robert C. Palmer) 

2 32

Mrs. Cutler's Place 1915-1922 

2 33

Mrs. Fred T. Murphey 

2 34

Mrs. John G. Rumney 

2 35

Mrs. Russell Alger C.1938 

2 36

Photographs Taken for News Reports 1934 

2 37

Postcards to Mrs.C.D. Ollingfon 

2 38

Postcards to Mrs.F.C.Ford 

2 39

Postcards to Mrs. Howard S. 

2 40

Sculptures from Grosse Point, MI 

2 41

The Bulb Grower of Holland 

2 42

Tulip Bed Photographs 

2 43

Various Labeled Horticulture Photographs 

2 44

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