The Garden Club of Ellijay was founded in 1991 as an offshoot of the Gilmer Arts and Heritage Association. It was originally named Gilmer Garden Gatherers, but in 1993 became an independent entity and was renamed Gilmer Garden Club. The clubs name changed again in 2003 to The Garden Club of Ellijay.
Marilyn Seiler served as Charter President for 1991 and again as President for 1992. Meetings were held at the Perry House and the plantings around the Perry House were begun during this time period.
Betty Lee served as President for the year 1993. Membership continued to blossom. The meeting location was changed from the Perry House to member's homes, and when that was not feasible, meetings were held at the Bank of Ellijays Apple Room. Numerous landscaping projects were completed that Spring and Summer, including the Perry house, Library, and the Chamber of Commerce.
In 1994 Carol Ward became the third Club President and was able to continue the Wildflower Program by requesting that the Ellijay Telephone Company insert fliers in their bills requesting public financial support.
During Jean Weaver's term as President in 1995, the Wildflower Program continued. That summer not only was Hwy. 515 in bloom again to beautify Gilmer County but other areas of the county were planted with Wildflowers as well. This was an impressive sight for all those visiting our area, especially guests of the 1996 Olympic Games.
Suzanne Hendrickson was President in 1996. The club participated in the Ellijay Apple Festival and the 4th of July celebration in downtown Ellijay. Large wood planter boxes filled with tiny cedar trees, spring bulbs and flowers were donated and placed around the court house and at our new city hall.
In 1997 Juanita Davis & Linda Kuhn both served as President. We participated in the Ellijay Apple Festival and became members of The Garden Club of Georgia and the National Council of State Garden Clubs. (When we joined The Garden Club of Georgia we chose to change to two year terms.)
Linda Kuhn completed her second year as president in 1998. The club was busy with many projects, participating in the Ellijay Apple Festival and landscaping and beautified the grounds around City Hall and the Nursing Home. We had our annual Plant & Seed Exchange, which was a huge success. This was the first year the club competed for State Awards. We submitted our 1998 Yearbook, and took second place at the State Convention. Both our Special Achievement Award book and Book of Evidence took second place also. Not too bad for our first time competing for State Awards.
Evon Creech served as president during the 1999-2000 years. Membership continued to increase. Many more day trips, in-club workshops and seminars were added to the activities. "Ask The Master Gardener" Q&A time was added to each meeting, thanks to the Master Gardeners in our Club. Many new projects were undertaken, including "Socks and Eggs" and the landscape design project and planting for the new Ellijay Visitors' Center. The club organized into five beautification teams in order to plant and maintain five of the civic locations in Gilmer County. We began actively participating in the Garden Club of Georgia projects by attending Laurel District Meetings, Workshops, Seminars and the State Convention. During 2000 our club hosted the Laurel District Awards Workshop in Ellijay. We accepted responsibility for the Horticulture Division at the Gilmer County Fair and incorporated them within the exhibits our first Standard Flower Show. We submitted five of our projects in State competition, and won five first place awards for our work in Public Relations (From the Mountain to the Sea Essay Contest). All three children winning trips in the Laurel District were sponsored from our Club. Our Publicity Press Book and Yearbook took a first place, as did the Gardening for the Disabled project with the Gilmer County Nursing Home residents. The Publications (Web Site) work done by vice-president, Victoria Chandler won first in the State and went on to win first place in the National Convention competition. The club's hard work in 1999 and 2000 culminated with two of our members being asked to serve in chairmanships for the Laurel District.
Victoria Chandler was club president in 2001 and 2002. The club enjoyed a wonderfully diverse assortment of enlightening programs, from Bonsai Basics to Xeriscaping. Beautification Committees continued to maintain the library's court yard, Ellijay Visitors Center and the Senior Center. The clubs plant sale was a huge success both years enabled the club to fund many community projects. In 2002 three more children from Ellijay won the "From the Mountain to the Sea" essay contest and the club paid their expenses to attend the traveling camp. The first New Member reception was organized and began in 2002. The club staged its second and third annual Standard Flower Shows in conjunction with the Gilmer County Fair, and two excursion were enjoyed by club members, a trip to Biltmore Estate and Charleston, SC gardens, along with may other enjoyable day trips throughout the years.