Local History Published 1/10/2008
The year was 1930 when 35 women of Pittsford were organized into a group of people who were interested in flowers - learning about them, arranging them and planting them. Mrs. Franc Fassett Pubsley, was the president of the Tuesday Club, a civic organization, and proposed that the membership change direction to concentrate on plants. The suggestion was met with resounding enthusiasm and it was almost immediately that the Pittsford Garden Club was formed.
Mrs. Pugsley inspired the members to follow her lead and avail themselves of classes in horticulture. For the next 35 years the club held an annual Flower Show, often at the Town Hall and open to the public who were amazed at the beautiful arrangements and the information made available to them regarding all kinds of plants including trees.
The club had been established only one month when it met with the Village Board to discuss planting and preserving trees in the Village with the express purpose of beautification of the streets. The entire length of Main Street had, at one time, been covered with a canopy of leaves formed by stately elm trees and some of those were nearing the end of their lives. The beautification committee was worried that if that lovely canopy was diminished that the community would look barren and that should be avoided.
When the Club reached one year old, a tradition was established - presenting to the Pittsford Library, a book on horticulture or gardening. That tradition has continued to today and also includes a weekly flower arrangement for the library.
The Garden Club has worked quietly behind the scenes for 78 years. During the "War Years", members grew and supported Victory Gardens. Some of these gardens were planed and displayed as "front gardens". In 1948-49 seed packets were donated to Europe and were the forerunner of the World Care Day. In the 1950s Christmas Show and Sales were established as a way to raise funds to support their work. These sales became very popular among the citizens of the community and customers were lined up early waiting for the sale to begin. In 1958 a major change occurred when it was decided that the Club should undertake a Community Project.
In 1963 four large rectangular brick planters were placed at intervals along Pittsford's Main Street as the first such project. In 1966, the club landscaped the Post Office that was located in the village. In the 1970s, the project was to devise a plan, fund and execute it to landscape the Pittsford Community Library. The Garden Club received an important Environmental Improvement Award.
Many other beautification projects have been conceived and accomplished over the years and they include:
Copper Beech Park Renovation, benches and daylilies planted along the canal, Arbor Day trees in Thornell Park, School courtyards, Daffodil Meadow, and a nature center at Mendon Center Elementary School.
Our town and village have been blessed with the work and the contributions from the members of this respected group and Historic Pittsford recognized them at their annual meeting in July 2007 with an award for outstanding service. A great many people need to give thanks and recognition to a dedicated club for a labor of love. So much has been done for so many by so few!