Our History

As of 2015 we became known as the Adirondack Garden Club (AGC) formerly we were the Essex County Adirondack Garden Club (ECAGC), but our membership grew beyond Essex County to several adjacent counties in the Adirondack region of upstate New York.  Our Club membership now covers an incredible 1,824 square miles and two USDA hardiness zones.

Founded in 1928, the AGC became a member of the Garden Club of America in 1933.  During our 90-plus-year history, the club hosted the 1973 National GCA annual meeting, a Summer Institute for 500 delegates, NY State Zone III Conservation Retreats and the 2013 GCA National Affairs and Legislation/Conservation Field Trip. 

The AGC is a club devoted to service within our communities, within our Adirondack region, and in support of national and international conservation issues through our national organization, The Garden Club of America.  Our motto "Not for myself alone have I labored" has inspired members for 86 years and counting. 

For the complete history of the Adirondack Garden Club (previously  known as ECAGC), click here

It All Started …

On a hot August afternoon in 1928, Miss Sarah D. Lowrie and Mrs. Seymour DeWitt Ludlum hosted a lunch at Hills Garden House, in Keene Valley, formerly the property of the famous guide, Old Mountain Phelps. With advice from Susan Hand, a Committee of Invitation brought together twelve women selected because they were true amateur gardeners and “represented the leading families whose influence counted most in County life.

This was the era of the Charleston, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, and bathtub gin; Herbert Hoover was president and the Scopes trial for teaching evolution was just ending; Hirohito, Mussolini, Hitler and Chiang Kai-shek were on the rise, and Amelia Earhart became the first female to fly across the Atlantic.

Essex County, the second largest county in New York State, was widely represented by these founding members:  Miss Mary Foote, Port Henry; Mrs. Augustus Hand and Mrs. A.J.. Wadhams, both of Elizabethtown; Mrs. Arthur R. Masten, Tahawus; Mrs. Augustus G. Paine, Jr., Willsboro; Mrs. Stephen Pell, Ticonderoga; Miss Sarah D. Lowrie and Mrs. Seymour Dewitt Ludlum, both of Keene Valley;  Mrs. Henry Rogers, Ausable Forks;  Miss Mary Eddy, Westport; Mrs. George Ladd, Wadhams; and Mrs. Wallis Craig-Smith, Upper Jay.