Martinsville, Virginia


Historical Society Hosts Garden Club of Virginia

By: John Phillips, President, Board of Directors Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society

July 5, 2023


The Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society hosted the Restoration Committee of the Garden Club of Virginia (GCV) on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at the Historic Henry County Courthouse.

The visit included a property tour and landscaping workshop with Bartlett Tree Experts. The committee, consisting of 15 members from across the Commonwealth, oversees management of the proceeds from Historic Garden Week in Virginia and serves as a liaison to the restoration properties throughout Virginia. Since the first restoration in 1929 at Kenmore in Fredericksburg, the GCV has used proceeds from its signature event to restore and preserve a vital segment of Virginia’s landscape with nearly 50 projects completed to date, including the Historic Henry County Courthouse.

Founded in 1920, the GCV is an active association of 47 local clubs with more than 3,300 civic and community leaders. The GCV leads the challenge to protect and conserve Virginia’s natural beauty, to restore and preserve Virginia’s historic gardens and landscapes, and to provide educational opportunities in support of these challenges. Martinsville’s own Debbie Lewis, member of the Garden Study Club, serves as the 2022-2024 state president. Danville’s Kris Carbone, member of the Garden Club of Danville, serves as the state first vice president and Restoration Committee liaison for the Historical Society.

The Historical Society coordinated welcome bags for the visit. The following organizations contributed items: Bassett Historical Center, Carter Bank & Trust, Fayette Area Historical Initiative, The Harvest Foundation, Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Center & Museum, Martinsville-Henry County SPCA, Patrick & Henry Community College, Sarver Cleaning Services, and Tourism Office of Martinsville & Henry County.

John Phillips, Historical Society president, stated, “The Historical Society was proud and humbled to host the Garden Club of Virginia. The GCV and its local clubs are significant to communities across the Commonwealth. Historic Garden Week may be for only a few days, but the lasting impression exists for many, many years. Our Historic Henry County Courthouse was fortunate to be the benefactor in 2015. The Historical Society enjoys our continuing, collaborative relationship.”

Lewis responded, “What a fabulous meeting in Martinsville! I cannot thank you enough for hosting the GCV Restoration Committee at the Historic Henry County Courthouse. The set-up was perfect, and the gifts from local organizations and businesses were lovely. How thoughtful of you to provide that special touch for our guests from around Virginia. They loved their visit and had such kind words about our community. Again,
thank you for your gracious hospitality and commitment to our treasured historic property.”