Historic Markers Across Alabama

Chunnenuggee Public Garden, 1847

Marker ID: AHA 
Location: Co. Rd. 40 east of Union Springs, AL
County: Bullock
Coordinates: N 32° 9.523    W 085° 38.31
  32.15872      -85.63852
Waymark: None


Side 1
The entrance gate to the Chunnenuggee Public Garden was located within this 90- X 120-foot strip. The Chunnenuggee Ridge Horticultural Society, organized on March 6, 1847, established the Garden in the same year. Now known as the Chunnenuggee Public Garden Club, it lays claim to being the oldest continuously existing garden club in the nation. The Society held an annual Chunnenuggee May Fair between 1848 and 1860, when the War Between the States interrupted the event. The circular garden house, summer houses, and a "Lover's Knot" (a maze of tall flowering shrubbery) once were part of the five acres planted with rare fruits, flowers, and shrubberies which attracted visitors throughout the South to the Fair. The Fair was revived as the Chunnenuggee Fair in Union Springs in 1980 by the Bullock County Historical Society. Listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on March 5, 1976.

Side 2
Across the road from the Garden site is the old Powell home, known as "Old Field." Dr. Norborne Berkley Powell, who deeded the land for the Garden for $1.00, came from Virginia to Georgia and then to Alabama in 1838. He bought several thousand acres originally occupied by Creek Indians who called the area "TCHA-NA-NAGHI," meaning "long, high ridge." Slave carpenters and bricklayers from his plantation built his home from natural resources in the area. In 1844 the Greek Revival home was completed on the site of a former Indian war council lodge. Dr. Powell's likeness was imprinted on a window pane by lightning during a storm. Author Augusta Wilson dramatized this event in a novel entitled At the Mercy of Tiberius, where lightning photography solved a mystery. The glass pane is preserved in the Alabama Department of Archives & History in Montgomery.

End of Chunnenuggee Public Garden, 1847