On September 8, 1937, a group of 20 Marrowstone Island ladies gathered at the home of Ruth Johnson and the “Nordland Garden Club” was formed. The club, was dedicated to promoting gardening, community service and beautification. The club has been a member of the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs since it’s inception. The first officers elected were Ruth Johnson, president, Ruth Norby, treasurer and Mabel Paddock, secretary.

The club’s slogan was “Nordland, the Island of Flowers”. The ladies chose “Just an Old Fashion Garden” as the club song. The words and music were by Cole Porter. The Lilac was chosen as club flower and the Chickadee as club bird.

In April of 1938 the club purchased and planted about 30 shrubs around the Nordland School House, with an ongoing project to maintain it. That same year, seeds and flowers were planted along the roadside. The ladies named the Island cemetery,”Sound View Cemetery” which is still the name today. Late in May of 1938, the club ladies aided the Nordland Community Club in beautifying the cemetery. In October of 1938, plans were made to plant flowers and shrubs at East Beach Park. These were some of the many beautification projects of the newly formed Nordland Garden Club.

They did not have a club house so they met in their homes to discuss gardening, how to be supportive of each other and how to better and beautify the Island. At that time, Marrowstone Island was accessed only by a small ferry. The population on the Island in the early thirties consisted of approximately 150 people. With only a few radios and two public phones (one at the Nordland Store and the other at the ferry landing on Indian Island) residents relied on each other for entertainment and thus the Nordland Activity Club was formed. Land was donated to the Activity Club by A.M. Hoidale and a building was erected at that site by volunteer labor to house their activities. A bridge was erected in 1952 linking Indian Island and Marrowstone Island to the main land and a ferry was no longer needed. As Islanders found entertainment off the island, interest in the Nordland Activity Club faded and the club ceased to exist. The Nordland Garden Club inquired of the Hoidales if that land and building could be transferred to the Nordland Garden Club. It was agreed upon by the family and the Garden Club purchased the land and building for $1.00 in 1953.

Upon acquiring the property from the Hoidales, the Nordland Garden Club was incorporated. In January 1953, Articles of Incorporation of the Nordland Garden Club were notarized. In 1963, the Nordland Garden Club was issued 501(c)(5) status and in 1973 a Water Rights claim was filed

In June of 2004 the club voted to do a major updating of the club house. A fund raising campaign was launched and by September, the club had close to $20,000 in cash and pledges. When it was discovered that the title to the land was not clear, a lawyer was procured and efforts were made to clear the title. This was accomplished in October, 2006. At that time. an easement agreement on the North border has given the club the legal rights to park on the north side of the property. The renovation of the building was completed in 2007

Membership is still limited to Marrowstone Island ladies who reside here either full or part time. New members are always welcome.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.