It has long been the commitment of The Garden Club of Frankfort to promote civic beautification and historic preservation.
Those two endeavors have come together over the past eight years as the club, partnering with the Frankfort/Franklin County Tourism Commission, has sponsored an annual Living in History Home and Garden Tour. The proceeds from those events are contributed to such projects as the Wilkinson Boulevard median improvement, renovation and maintenance of the chapel in the Frankfort Cemetery and the Lilian Lindsey Park behind the old Paul Sawyier Library.
This year’s tour was held June 14 featuring eight homes, a luncheon at the Frankfort Country Club, a boutique and antique appraisal. The combined events netted about $4,000, up some from years past.
Club members have helped with various beautification projects in public spaces in the community through the work of volunteers, with monies brought in from dues and a few Ways and Means projects.
Eight years ago, a few forward thinking and energetic members began to promote the idea that more could be done. It would require a major fund raising effort and it would require a visionary concept for how to use the money.
Committees were formed and ideas were shared. It was decided that Frankfort’s “brand” that needed to be promoted and capitalized on was its place in history. The fund raising event would be a home and garden tour that would spotlight properties with important ties to the community and its history.
Members hoped this tour would become an annual event called “Living in History.” After much discussion it was decided that the beautification project to be undertaken would be to improve one of the main corridors leading into Frankfort’s historic district and downtown commercial areas.
The Wilkinson median between the YMCA and Farmers Market was chosen for improvement. Following the success of the first tour, club members began to meet with the city, county and state entities that would need to agree to do the work necessary for the project.
There were many discussions, decisions to be made and problems to be solved. But in time, the first phase of the project was completed. The concrete median edged with weeds was replaced with a statue of a colt surrounded by blooming roses and bordered with boxwoods. Phase two of the Wilkinson Boulevard Median Project has begun.
The annual home tour succeeds because so many have supported it by looking forward to this event, putting it on their calendar, inviting their friends and purchasing tickets.
That, in turn, then helps the community, with the proceeds of the tour being used for beautification projects.