The beauty of spring, the awakening of nature in all its beauty, never grows old. The opening of flower petals, leaves and buds popping from tree limbs, and grass turning velvety green while farmers and gardeners add to the scene with their plantings heralding the arrival of spring.
My hometown, Cardington, known for its tree and floral beauty, was once described by an impressed visitor as “the town with a curve on each end and an arch of trees in the center.” The town park in 1911 had 250 maple trees lining its walks.
South Marion Street was titled “The Street of Maples,” with maple trees lining both sides. Glendale Cemetery was known for its tree lined drives.
Although many of these trees came down for various reasons through the years, the most extreme destruction was made by the 1981 tornado.
Community residents have toiled to keep the village bedecked with flowers and trees through the years. The Cardington Garden Club sold plants and trees every year. A tulip tree and a dogwood tree purchased from the club have had a home on my lawn for 40 years.
Richard Hack began landscaping the post office with flowers in 1970.
He and his wife, Kathy, then joined the Beautification Committee following the tornado and the committee made the village one of brilliant floral beauty with flowers planted and tended to in 50 barrels placed at business places, and on sidewalks. Gracing these barrels were geraniums, blue and white petunias, red and white alyssum. For years the committee worked from March through December when they cleared the barrels and stored them.
In 1981 a Tree Committee was organized and their goal was to replace the hundreds of trees that were tornado destroyed. One year after the tornado this committee had planted 206 trees in the downtown and residential areas and 150 trees in the cemetery, earning them their first Tree City USA designation, an award they have continued to win annually.
Those first trees were sunset maples, red oak, autumn purple ash and locust. Also planted were flowering crab trees.
The Beautification Committee was also awarded for its efforts when it received the Community Landscaping Award by the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs.
Pat Bracken headed up the Tree Committee and GaNell Durfey, the Beauti-fication Committee. All members of these committees are deceased except Marge Breckner, Eric and Deirdre Jones, Ray Bauman, Mary McAlister and the Hacks.
The Hacks, who continued to tend to the flowers, retired three years ago. Since then, the job of tending to the village’s floral beauty is in the capable hands of Cheyenne Matheney.
A big thank you to all of the residents who applied their gardening skills and “green thumbs” to keep our town dazzling with color.
80 years ago, May, 1938: Robert Akron, 29, was appointed by Mayor Frank Aliga to fill a vacant seat on Cardington’s Village council.
A. W. Carter retired after more than 46 years as Cardington School custodian.
70 years ago, 1948: Louis Levering, Cardington High school senior, won the DeKalb Agricultural Accomplishment Award for being the outstanding all-around senior in the Cardington Vocational Agricultural Department.
60 years ago, 1958: Jane Patterson and Melvin Zeigler were named Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively of the 1958 Cardington High School graduating class. The eight high schools in Morrow County graduated 222 seniors this month. Charles Morris of Cardington was awarded the third Lillian E. James scholarship award of $1,000.
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