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The Gentilly Dirt Dobbers Garden Club

The Gentilly Dirt Dobbers garden club was established in the summer of 1951 in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans. One of the prominent founding members of the club was Lucile L. Hutton, an educator and member of several social clubs throughout the city.

According to article two of the Dirt Dobber’s constitution, the purpose of the group was “to gather information and disseminate ideas among the members leading to a deeper appreciation of all pant life,” and “to encourage an interest in plant life and home decoration in the community.” Only Eighteen members were allowed at one time and the rules for membership were simple: members of the club must live in the Gentilly area, have an interest and experience in gardening, and membership was revoked if a member miss three consecutive meetings.

The constitutional by-laws stated that meetings were to take place the first Friday of every month, dues were $2 per person yearly, and the club sponsored at least one party a year. The Gentilly Dirt Dobbers also stated that “In addition to carrying out its objectives of gardening and home beautification, the Dirt Dobbers help a needy family at Christmas, contribute yearly to the NAACP, give an annual flower show, and celebrate the closing of the year’s work with a membership dinner.” Over the years the Dirt Dobbers and their activities made frequent appearances in the Louisiana Weekly, an African American weekly newspaper, and they were famous for ending the year with well-attended Christmas parties.

Photographs from the club’s Christmas Tour of Homes, 1957

Images from Amistad’s website, newsletters, and blogs cannot be reproduced without permission.

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