Chestina Welty And The Advent Of Women’s Clubs

After World War I women found themselves more mobile, thanks to the automobile, but still confined for the most part to their roles as homemakers.  The desire  for knowledge  and social contact led to the creation of women’s clubs and Chestina Welty was at the forefront of the movement in Jackson, Mississippi.

 Garden Clubs were formed as new “suburbs” like Belhaven began to spring up at the same time Chestina was designing the garden rooms for her new home on Pinehurst Street.  Chestina was a charter member of the Jackson Woman’s Club and served in many leadership capacities within the club including the creation of a Garden Lover’s group.  The Crepe Myrtles lining the sides of Pinehurst Place can be attributed to her vision of a “glorious highway, planted on either side with colorful Crepe Myrtles, the club flower.”  Later, Chestina would be a founding member of The Belhaven Garden Club.

 A lifelong student, she liked learning about plants, according to Eudora, “My mother liked the direct experience of a garden.  She liked learning about plants and their origins and how they developed.”  Her garden would go on to win a prize in a 1928 contest for “best entire place.”

Chestina Welty with roses…

Chestina Welty with roses

image via

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Eudora Welty Garden there will be a luncheon on Thursday, March 27th at the Mississippi Museum of Art and we will welcome Julia Reed as our speaker…

Julia Reed

Ms. Reed writes a “food and drink” column for Newsweek and is a contributor to Garden and Gun, Conde Nast Traveler, Elle Decor, The New York Times and Vogue.  She lives in New Orleans where she is chairman of the board of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.  We look forward to her regaling us with tales of southern garden club lore as only she can!

I have read that Julia readily admits to reading the National Enquirer – this is of note because of a recent conversation I had with one of the hairdressers who worked at the beauty shop Eudora frequented.  He told me, “As she was getting under the dryer Miss Eudora would say ‘Richard bring me some of your finer literature’, she was referring to the Enquirer.”

I hope you will make plans to attend!

Look for more information about making a reservation very soon!

It’s sure to be a grand celebration…

pet celebration
Welty Garden Party

 

 As is so often the case,  One Writer’s Garden Eudora Welty’s Home Place by Susan Haltom and Jane Roy Brown provided me with a great resource for this post.

 

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