2021 Annual Meeting Has Been Cancelled Due to COVID Restrictions

A Letter from Dean Norton, Director of Horticulture at Mount Vernon

Dear Southern Garden History Society Family,

I recently reached out to those members who were registered for the 2020 SGHS Mount Vernon annual meeting asking for their thoughts and feelings about moving forward with the annual meeting April 23-25, 2021. I received 60 replies and although the majority said they would make the trip, many who responded expressed valid concerns that are in line with the current situation in our country.

Just this past Monday 12:01am, tighter restrictions were announced by the Governor of Virginia with no timeline for a return to a somewhat normal situation. A number of meetings that were planning to be held in 2021, even as far into the year as August, have already been cancelled.

Some of the obvious issues we would be dealing with are travel restrictions, vaccine status, age of membership (which includes me, folks), distancing, and just a whole lot of unknowns. For these reasons and many more I see no other responsible choice than to postpone the 2021 SGHS annual meeting, date to be determined. Many commitments are being handled concerning the postponement. We are already all set with the Holiday Inn, and I am confident we will have all other arrangements settled in the coming week.

What does this mean to the Society? There will be a financial hit in posters and brochures that will need to be reprinted, miscellaneous snacks that will need to be replaced, and I will have to drink two cases of wine for it will all go bad before the next meeting. These are difficult times, and I am so sorry we are once again denied our annual meeting. Please keep the faith and stay well. When this meeting does occur, I promise you a celebration like has never been seen in the annals of the Southern Garden History Society.

With best wishes for a blessed New Year!



Past SGHS Annual Meetings

An annual meeting is held each spring in a different location in the South for the purposes of studying the garden and landscape history of that area, creating further interest in garden history and restoration in the area, and stimulating interchange of information and ideas among members. Membership in the Southern Garden History Society is required to register for the meeting.

Previous meetings have been held in the following locations; click on the location name to view the program. (The program from 2001 is missing.)

Carnton tintype
Tintype photo at Carnton Plantation of 2015 Annual Meeting attendees, courtesy of photographer Blake Wylie, www.blakewylie.com

2019 Birmingham, Alabama
2018 Jacksonville, Florida
2017 Lexington, Kentucky (Photo Gallery) (history of the James farm)

2016 Charleston, South Carolina (Photo Gallery)
2015 Nashville, Tennessee

2014 Savannah, Georgia
2013 Lynchburg, Virginia
2012 Richmond, Virginia
2011 Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2010 Mount Vernon, Virginia
2009 Camden, South Carolina
2008 Athens, Georgia
2007 Annapolis, Maryland
2006 Fort Worth, Texas
2005 Fredericksburg, Virginia
2004 New Orleans, Louisiana
2003 Atlanta, Georgia
2002 Natchez, Mississippi
2001 Tryon Palace, New Bern, North Carolina
2000 Mount Vernon, Virginia
1999 Houston, Texas
1998 Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
1997 Tallahassee, Florida
1996 Eastern Shore, Maryland
1995 Mobile, Alabama
1994 Williamsburg, Virginia
1993 Washington/Fayette Counties, Texas
1992 Charleston, South Carolina
1991 St. Francisville, Louisiana
1990 Mount Vernon, Virginia
1989 Savannah, Georgia
1988 Nashville, Tennessee
1987 Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia
1986 Montgomery, Alabama
1985 Annapolis, Maryland
1984 Natchez, Mississippi
1983 Atlanta, Georgia



Southern Garden History Society Scholarships

James R. Cothran Student Scholarship — Each year, one scholarship winner is selected as the recipient of the James R. Cothran Student Scholarship for meritorious scholarship and career objectives relevant to Southern garden history, appreciation and preservation. The James R. Cothran Student Scholarship was established in 2012 following the unexpected death of James “Jim” R. Cothran on January 29, 2012. Jim Cothran was a landscape architect, urban planner, author, and past president of the Southern Garden History Society. He was passionate about the study of Southern garden history and worked tirelessly to promote its appreciation and preservation. Our Southern garden heritage is much enriched and better elucidated because of his commitment, dedication, and devotion. He was a kind and gentle man, a scholar, a friend, and a colleague who will be sorely missed but fondly remembered. The Board of Directors of the Southern Garden History Society unanimously approved the establishment of the James R. Cothran Student Scholarship.