Locust Valley Garden Club Celebrates 75 Years

Newly inducted are: Rose O’Brien and Linda Byrne, with President Dean Yoder; and Patricia Pierno. (Photos by Dagmar Fors Karppi)

The Locust Valley Garden Club celebrated its 75th anniversary celebration with a short look back at its history. The club inducted three new members and reminisced on members who were around in 1947, the year the club was originally founded, as the Locust Valley Woman’s Club.
It was an outgrowth of Operation Democracy. While America’s Marshall Plan was helping European cities to recover, the smaller villages needed help, including Ste. Mere-Eglise, the first village liberated by the Allies, and where Col. Augustin S. Hart, Jr. parachuted into on D-Day. He and his wife lived in Locust Valley from 1944 to 1960. His connection was the reason the Normandy village was chosen.
Charles (Martha) Breasted of Factory Pond Road, LV, president of Operation Democracy, said, “We thought this … would be an opportunity to do something rather than to sit back and regret what is going on in the world.”
Of the eight-member OD committee, three were LVWC members: President S. Thelma Crossland; Edith Hay Anderson, Jr. (Wyckoff) publicity; and Svea E. Wansor, philanthrophy. Lucia Milham, 2nd vice president, was the wife of committee member Newton Milham. The first project of the club was to make layettes to send to Normandy.

Memories of 1947
Longtime members of the club recalled what they were doing in 1947, the year Christian Dior unveiled his New Look, marking an end to the short skirts of wartime austerity with the start of glamor. Sandra Watkins said she was the first one at Oyster Bay High School to wear the New Look long skirt. Judith McQuiston said her whole neighborhood gathered around to see her father’s maroon Buick Dynaflo, one of the first cars made after the war. Dorothy Titus said her father had just come home from the Navy and, “We were one of the first families to get a Levitt house.”
A basket of flowers was presented to Joan McCauley, who joined the club in 1978. President Dean Yoder presented Linda Byrne, Rose O’Brien and Patricia Pierno with the club by-laws, LVGC pin, and a small bouquet.

Looking Forward
Linda Byrne’s daughter, Lindsay, who works at the Mill Neck Manor School for the deaf, where the club meets said, “You love to garden and these people are so much fun, and not to mention, but they have great food as well.” Linda said. “Both my grandparents were gardeners and I love to cook. So I was just meant to be here.”
Patricia Pierno said, “Years ago I was with the Bayville Garden Club and always wanted to continue doing that.” She attended a few LVGC meetings, before COVID-19 and was going to be inducted, but then there was a snow storm. Happy with becoming a member she said, “It’s really a very nice group of women. The club is really A-one.”
Rosie O’Brien attended a few meetings. “I really enjoy it,” she said. “I love to plant flowers and pull the weeds and see everything is looking nice.
“My son cuts the lawn,” she added.
The August meeting featured Sue Avery talking on the importance of attracting pollinators to our gardens. The Sept. 14 meeting features how to close your garden for winter. The meetings start at 10 a.m. in the Round Room, building 8, at Mill Neck Manor. The donation of $15, includes the program and luncheon. Contact President Yoder at for more information. New members are always welcome.

Leave a Reply