Capitol Hill Garden Club In Washington, D.C., Since 1952
Club History


Since 1952


Today's club bears little resemblance to the one begun on June 26, 1952 when eight women met at the home of Frieda Murray on 10th Street SE to form the Capitol Hill Garden Club.  The Club's first regular meeting was held in September of that year.

Its purpose was the development of gardening knowledge and skills and community beautification to which were later added activities and projects of the National Capitol Garden Club League, now the National Capitol Area Federation of Garden Clubs which the Club joined in 1955.

Membership was originally limited to 30 active members who resided in the Capitol Hill area and who were required to participate in meetings and activities.  New members had to be proposed in writing and attend 2 meetings as a guest prior to being voted into membership by written ballot, later changed to a voice vote.  The number of active members was increased in 1963 to 40, in 1972 to 50, and in 1978 to an unlimited number. Today we have close to 100 members.

Men (the majority being husbands of members) were active in the Club from the beginning, and while it was noted as early as 1960 men would be accepted, it was not until the early 1970s that men actually joined with full membership.

Until the mid 1970s, the Club normally met at members' homes, but meetings and special events often took place at local churches, the Sewall-Belmont House, restaurants, and other public buildings.

Civic activities and projects have long been of interest to the Club.  From 1952 to 1955 the Club participated in the annual Christmas Greens Show at the Corcoran Art Gallery;  From 1955 to 1961 it held a Christmas door decorating contest for homes and businesses on the Hill.  In 1955 the Club was particularly active, cooperating with Christ Church on an herb garden project and making dish gardens for patients at Providence Hospital.

One of the Club's major projects, which culminated in 1962, was landscaping the Southeast Library where the Club also maintained a shelf of gardening books (gardening books were also donated to the Northeast Library).

Over the years, the Club has participated in flower shows, greens shows at the Botanical Gardens, flower marts at Washington Cathedral, and house and garden tours.  In recent years, the Club has assisted in maintaining the grounds at the Sewall-Belmont House.

Fund-raising projects have included greens shows; sale of Christmas decorations, calendars, and flower show tickets and hosting bazaars.

Selling bulbs, first suggested in 1960, was the major fund-raiser for the Club from the 1970s through 2015.

For the past 64 years, the Club has produced varied programs, the more perennial being the Christmas greens workshops, tours of members' gardens, and Spring and Fall garden parties.

With attendance at meetings at an all-time high, the Club can look forward to a bright future with interesting programs and worthwhile activities to further the interest of gardening on the Hill.

On June 2, 2012, the Club celebrated its 60th anniversary at the U.S. National Arboretum.  For more information on this wonderful event and to view a few of the many pictures taken that evening, please click here.



Past presidents of the Capitol Hill Garden Club photographed at the 60th anniversary celebration, left to right Ginnny, Lem, David, Pat, Anthony, Jim, and Vira.

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Got Old Photos of Club Events?

If you are a long-time Club member, or know someone who is, you can help build the history of our Club. How? By searching for old photos from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. When you find one, contact the webmaster. Electronic copies will be made, posted and preserved for future generations of the Capitol Hill Garden Club.




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The Newsletter Legacy

For as long as anyone can remember, the Capitol Hill Garden Club's newsletter has kept its members informed and entertained.  Replaced by the website, these 'legacy' newsletters are now available here for your enjoyment.

If you have an edition of our newsletter that is not posted here, please contact the webmaster so that it can be added to our collection.





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