Jennifer L. ManfrinPublished 1:36 p.m. ET July 9, 2017 ¦ Updated 3:11 p.m. ET July 9, 2017
COSHOCTON - Whether strolling through the winding paths through the rose garden and woodlands or taking time from busy schedules to relax in a peaceful outdoor setting, visitors to the Clary Gardens can always find the beauty of nature there regardless of the season.
This was part of the vision of the founders of Clary Gardens to have a place where the community could go to enjoy nature, learn about horticulture and inspire future generations to do the same.
“I think it's wonderful that we have this beautiful area right here in the community. Our goal is to become the hub for learning about nature and horticulture in this part of the area,” said Jandi Adams, executive director.
Clary Gardens and the Clary Garden Foundation was founded in 2001 when Beth Clary purchased the land with plans to develop a botanical garden in honor of her late husband, Lawrence Clary.
The family established Clary Brothers Florist known for their hot house roses, and “led the way in horticulture in the area since 1907,” Adams said.
The area that began with a rose garden in honor of Lawrence Clary has grown over the years to include a children's garden, open-air sandstone amphitheater called The Theater in the Ravine and renovations to the on-site buildings for events and educational purposes.
But long before the Clary family purchased the land, the area had a rich history that laid the foundation for nature preservation initiatives that take place there today.
Hundreds of years ago, the area was inhabited by Native Americans, who were most likely attracted by the 30-plus natural springs on the grounds. It became part of the Land Ordinance Act of 1796 that awarded land to soldiers who served in the American Revolution, and was given to James Calder, founder of Caldersburgh, now Roscoe Village.
In 1824, Calder deeded the property to his son, James Taylor Calder, who built the red house in 1830. It was once known as the Old Roscoe House, said Adams, but is now named the Compton House in honor of previous owners. “It's arguably one of the oldest homes in the area,” Adams added.
The structure got its name from the Compton family that came from Virginia and purchased the land to farm. Several generations of the family called the property home, and John Compton built a home in the 1850s. It still stands today, and is known as the Garden House.
Various others owned the property over the years, until local businessman Bill Freund and his wife Carol purchased it in 1989 and a year later began restoring the homes beginning with the spring house.
“He took a liking to restoring and began the whole process,” Adams said.
Adams said much of the history of the land and homes that now make up Clary Gardens has been documented in written accounts and photographs that are in the organization's archives. Plans are in the works to put the stories and photos in an organized exhibit for visitors to see.
“We really want to be able to tell the story, and share the a living history, not just of Clary Gardens, but we want to go back to the history of the area. I feel that it is such a draw for visitors,” Adams said.
Today, with the help of dedicated members of the community, Clary Gardens continues to grow.
“We want people to come out and experience the gardens,” Adams said. “It is such a community draw, and there is a lot of interest in what's going on here. I think people are excited that it's part of our heritage.”
Read the full article HERE. Happy Holidays - From Clary Gardens
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