The inspiration for the Western Carolina Botanical Club’s formation can be traced to a series of wildflower classes taught in Brevard during the fall of 1972 by Dr. C. Ritchie Bell, then Professor of Botany at UNC-Chapel Hill and Director of the N. C. Botanical Gardens. The enthusiasm generated by this experience prompted one participant, Harry Logan, to suggest “I think it would be nice for some of us who’ve gotten to know each other in these classes to get together regularly and go out to various interesting places to look at flowers and other plants”–and another, Barbara Hallowell, to agree wholeheartedly. (Several decades later, this simple. direct statement of the Club’s essential purpose still serves it very well)!
Harry aired the proposal at a meeting on March 12, 1973 which was attended by Joe Schatz, Harvey Krouse, Lincoln Highton, Harriet Corwin, Pat and Gordon Tooley, Peggy Camenzind, Nan Morrow, and possibly others. This led to an organizational meeting on March 27, 1973 at which the following officers were elected:
President Lincoln Highton
Vice President Gordon Tooley
Secretary-Treasurer Barbara Hallowell
The aims of the Club were articulated as follows;
- For the study, enjoyment and appreciation of the plants of Western North Carolina in their natural environment.
- For the collection and compilation of information and data on the plants of Western North Carolina and the dissemination of this to other interested persons.
- For the education of interested persons in the enjoyment and appreciation of wildflowers and other plants.
Other basic decisions made at this meeting–activities to consist mostly of field trips, indoor programs in bad weather, a single formal meeting each year, modest dues structure, etc.–remain unchanged today.
Scrapbooks depicting the history of the Club as well as hard copies of Shortia may be viewed in the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room on the second floor of the Transylvania County Library at 212 South Gaston Street, Brevard, North Carolina 28712