Clairmont Heights Evening Garden Club 1957-1976

The CHCA board is in possession of a three ring binder with over one hundred typewritten and handwritten notes from meetings of the “Clairmont Heights Evening Garden Club” from 1957 to 1976. It is the earliest known community organization in our neighborhood. There are gaps in the records and residents with old documents or memories of this or other early neighborhood organizations are invited to share them with the CHCA board. In particular, we would be delighted to see records or hear recollections of the “Civic Club”, “Clairmont Heights Garden Club” and "West Clairmont Heights Garden Club" as well as the “scrapbooks” and "yearbooks" mentioned in the club minutes. The earliest surviving page is dated March 7, 1957 and records “the regular monthly meeting of the Clairmont Heights neighborhood Garden Club.” That implies the club had been started earlier. The meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Donald J. Langland. Edith Langland is the secretary of the last meeting recorded on March 11, 1976. The mission of the club was "beautification of our homes and gardens." The notes indicate the club hosted many social events at private homes, local restaurants and occasionally at resorts like Stone Mt Inn. At the same time, the club actively undertook many projects to benefit the neighborhood and made many donations of both craft projects such as floral arrangements, Christmas gifts and terrariums as well as money to local charities, especially hospitals and childrens’ homes as far away as Milledgeville. The club arranged for planting of trees like dogwoods and redbuds in the neighborhood. They even arranged for clean-up and beautification of the Desmond/Densley corner and local park areas just as the present civic association does as part of the annual MANA/CHCA/DeKalb Clean Up Day. At one point (October 10, 1963) they tried to get the “Civic Club” (also referred to as the “Civic Association” of which a Mr. Jackson was president) to get the county to help the neighborhood buy an empty lot at the corner of Densley and Desmond when the owner declined to let them clean it up. The county, it was reported, would not help, although the county did help clean up a “sewer” (storm drain?) on Desmond. In addition, they organized home tours and field trips, attended film screenings and lectures, and produced neighborhood flower shows, fashion shows, and Christmas door decoration competitions. Invited guest speakers spoke on diverse issues, mostly having to do with gardening and home decoration, but there was reference also to talks from county police representatives on crime prevention.