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Image by Erwan Hesry

Club History "Shorts" - Denise St. Dennis & Hunter Davis

Dig you know..?

  • The Vashon-Maury Island Garden Club is 71 years old.

  • There are 30 folks who are over 10 year members 

  • There used to be two clubs (North island and South)

  • "Ladies Social Club" began in 1940's (See historical museum notes)

  • Mrs. Wallace (Margaret) Gorsuch was the 1st president



Red Lillies

Honoring Past President, Marilyn VanDevanter

IDid you know that we have a lifelong member with 35 years in our club? 

That is half the years the club has been together. 

That special woman is Marilyn Van Devanter. She joined the Garden Club in 1989.  At that time,  the club was about 35 members, all women.  During that time, you had to be invited to join the club and attend 2 meetings.


 At that time, the club was part of a regional Washington state Federation of garden clubs. The region clubs had names and the Vashon club was called  Snoqualmie" Vashon. These clubs at the time would hold  competitions on flower arrangements with specific themes and styles. There were rules and regulations that had  to be followed.  Marilyn was very knowledgeable on arrangement techniques, advising and teaching how to compete in the regional events. Marilyn was very key. Marilyn was the source, and the clubs go to person for how to be competitive and what it takes to be a winner.  In fact, she did take 1st in a Washington State wide competition. 

Eventually, Vashon would vote not to stay in the federated clubs, probably because of costs. Marilyn was secretary in 1990 when the club voted on keeping the name "Snoqualmie" Vashon. Marilyn was also president in 1994-1996.  The club meetings were held in a local church. Everyone brought a bag lunch. And in June they would have a pot luck.  Some traditions carry on.  Marilyn was also a career woman. She was a court reporter and she was married and had two sons. 


 I spoke with club member, Carolina Nurik, who joined in 1999. She is sad that she could  not be with us today to celebrate Marilyn and her years with the club.  She recalled that Marilyn had sea holly in her garden and Peruvian lilies. She liked flowers that attracted  birds and that could be presented in dry arrangements. 

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