In the fall of 1992 at the Burlington Public Library in Burlington, WI, 22 excited people gathered to find out what was transpiring with two ladies that wanted to form a garden club. There was such a tremendous response that Barb Lehn and Susie Quickstad (two newfound friends) just knew their idea was welcomed. After a few organizational meetings, things were off and running. Ladies and gentlemen alike were having fun sharing ideas and learning about all sorts of things related to gardening through local authorities.
As our club grew, a truly dedicated Burlingtonite, Judy Stone, approached Barb Lehn about a piece of property that could be more than just “a grassy piece of ground”. It could be a re-created garden typical of those found in Burlington in the late 1800s. It was her idea that encouraged The Legacy Garden to take shape.
The Burlington Historical Society welcomed the idea and donated $1,500 toward the project. Barb and Susie went to work to find people that had some landscape experience. Alvin Schvetz of Landscapes, Inc. offered his service to the club. Schvetz estimated the garden’s commercial cost at $5,000. and could be implemented in stages. After viewing his plan, members of the club offered other services to make this plan come to life. Jack Schlick, with the encouragement of his wife Pat, wrote a letter to be sent to the businesses of the community to ask for donations for this beautification project. After many businesses donated, we still needed money to complete our goal.
After much thought the idea of a garden walk came to mind and without hesitation, Susie announced it to the newspaper and thus we were committed. On July 11, 1993, 19 of our members worked together to earn $530 after expenses, from the first ever, Burlington Area Garden Walk.
Now all that was missing was a quaint old-fashioned fence to complete the garden. The Standard Press newspaper came to the rescue by writing an article about our garden and that we were on the lookout for a fence to compliment our garden. An anonymous call gave Barb Lehn a tip where there was just the fence we were looking for. After a few long distance calls, we were given permission by Mrs. Clemence Curry, to remove a fence from her summer residence at 30405 Cedar Drive, Browns Lake.
Then there was another long search to find someone with just the right time and talent to restore this aging fence. That person turned out to be Mr. Robert Wollmer of Kansasville. Mr. Wollmer constructed an archway at the garden club’s wishes and reconstructed some of the pieces that were too damaged to repair.
Things were coming together and the garden was looking beautiful. On June 26th, 1994, the Burlington Historical Society held an old fashioned ice cream social and unveiled the plaque recognizing the many generous sponsors who helped make the garden a reality and the Burlington Area Garden Club dedicated the garden.
~ Barb Lehn, Burlington Area Garden Club Founder