This stone flower urn stands at the intersection of North Street and Norfolk Road in Litchfield. There are no markers or inscriptions to tell the curious passerby when or why it was built, or by whom. Further investigation, however, reveals that this is one of the many contributions made by the Litchfield Garden Club to beautify the town.
2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the Litchfield Garden Club. On September 9, 1913, nine women from the Litchfield area met at the home of Edith and Alice Kingsbury on North Street and organized the club, with annual dues of two dollars. S. Edson Gage, an architect who had designed the Litchfield Playhouse that stood at the site of the current town hall, was elected president.
The organization’s first civic project took place in 1914, when – in cooperation with the Village Improvement Society – they spent ten dollars for plantings at the town’s train station on Russell Street. After the First World War the club was active in maintaining the plantings at the train station as well as beautifying the grounds of the town’s schools and library, and in creating Litchfield’s Wild Gardens on land leased from White Memorial.
The Norfolk Road planter was installed in 1954 (the club’s website indicates there may have been others along Norfolk Road), flowers were planted at traffic intersections, and the organization was also instrumental in getting Litchfield’s Historic District added to the National Registrar of Historic Places. More recently, the club has replanted the trees along North and South Street that were originally planted by Oliver Wolcott, Jr. to commemorate the original 13 states and installed period lighting on the Litchfield Green.
Happy 100th anniversary to the Litchfield Garden Club, which has done so much to enhance the natural beauty of our town!