Wilmot Horticultural Society History

WHS Flower and Logos

The planning of the WHS 50th Anniversary began in 2012 with President Theresa Dietrich’s suggestion that WHS acquire its own daylily.  On July 18, 2012, twenty-four members made a road trip to Jack Kent’s Dunnville nursery to see the lilies and chose a sturdy plant with showy yellow flowers, a red throat and red ruffled edges.  Fifty pots containing two plants each were purchased. The lily was registered to our society for the price of $375. Twelve people entered 20 names in a contest to name the lily and the winning name was Summer Sunset, suggested by Judy Hahn-Yutzi. The lily is now registered with the name Wilmot Summer Sunset. This influenced the revamping of our logo and banner in 2016. Although these changes were not without controversy, as some members wanted the original rose to remain the WHS flower. However, with this comment in mind, “It is fresh, welcoming and modern as the Society celebrates 50 years and looks to the future,”  the Wilmot Summer Sunset lily became our flower. (M. Knezevich)

The Beginnings of the Wilmot Horticultural Society

The year was 1967 – Centennial Year.  In the town of New Hamburg, Jerry Calvert was newly appointed as Recreational Director.  He circulated a two-page questionnaire to tick off what activities the local people would like to have in the community.  Madeline Honderich was one of several people who had an interest in horticulture.  The Recreational Director asked her to find more interested people.  She wisely went to the New Hamburg Fall Fair Board for a listing of exhibitors of flowers and vegetables.  On October 5, a group of about eighteen people attended the first organizational meeting which was held at the Community Centre.   

At a second meeting on November 7, 1967, Edward Klinkman was chosen chairman to conduct the meeting.  The outcome of this meeting was the formation of a committee to establish a constitution and a slate of executive officers.  

The first recorded meeting was held on January 15, 1968.  Mrs. Milton Luft presented the slate of officers:

President:  Mrs. Edith Taylor
Vice Presidents:  Mrs. Calvin Honderich, Mrs. Harold Wagner
Directors:  Mrs. Edwin Ferguson, Mrs. Willard Gingerich, Mrs. Edward Kalbfleisch, Mrs. Siegfried Kleine, Mrs. Norman Keefer, Edward Klinkman, Mrs. Edward Klinkman, Mrs. Milton Luft, Mrs. W. Schneller,  Mrs. Alex Scott.

Mrs. Edith Taylor had a greenhouse business called Green Thumb Gardens on Shade St. in New Hamburg. She was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and therefore gave good leadership to this fledgling society.

It was decided to have nine regular monthly meetings a year excluding July, August, and December.  The object of the society is for the instruction and discussion on subjects with the theory and practice of horticulture.

The February 1968 meeting saw the adoption of the name The Wilmot Horticultural Society.

Information for the history is taken from a booklet prepared for and distributed to the members on the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of the Wilmot Horticultural Society in 1978.  Information was taken from Mrs. Calvin (Madeline) Honderich‘s article entitled Reflections.  The booklet also contains a Foreword by Edith Taylor, President’s Message by Lou Hill and a lengthy History of the Wilmot Horticultural Society probably written by Reita Klinkman, the secretary since its beginning.