HISTORY OF THE DAVIS ISLANDS GARDEN CLUB
In 1936, a small group of women, in love with the beauty of Davis Islands, formed the Davis Islands Garden Club. It operated until forced to disband during the World War II years. When the war ended, the Tampa Federation of Garden Clubs asked a small group of women to reorganize the club. With help from the Tampa Federation, they officially rechartered the club as the Davis Islands Garden Club Circle on April 26, 1946.
Thirty members were active when the club was rechartered. By November 1946, membership had grown to about 100 Davis Islands residents. As the islands’ population continued to grow along with Tampa – so did Garden Club membership. Initially, the Club met in members’ homes and other locations, but as membership grew, need for a more permanent facility became more and more evident. Talk of building began, but it would be eleven years before construction of our present building began.
Tampa Mayor Nick Nuccio receives credit for the City of Tampa having deeded the beautiful piece of land on the Seddon Channel to the Davis Islands Garden Club. Club members immediately began the major project of developing Marjorie Park. The Club’s work on the fifty-five acre urban park on Davis Islands won the Kellogg Award of Civic Achievement for the Garden Clubs of the United States, the highest honor bestowed by the National Council of State Garden Clubs.
The Garden Club continued to expand its membership, eventually becoming so large (over 200 members) that it became an independent garden club and gave up its membership in the circle federation. Today, the Davis Islands Garden Club continues to work to beautify the islands, but has become involved in a broader range of projects.