Historic Markers Across Florida

Rutgers House/Tallahassee Garden Club Center

Marker ID: FLHM F-933
Location: 507 North Calhoun St., Tallahassee, FL
County: Leon
Coordinates: N 30° 26.835    W 084° 16.762
  30.44725    -84.27936666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMVP8P


Rutgers House

This house was built by George Proctor, a free African American in 1848 for City Councilman and Territorial Treasurer Henry Rutgers. The doors and woodwork were fashioned from mahogany, and other lumber was hand-hewn from native trees. Bricks came from a local kiln. The house's Georgian architecture features a double-pile center hall plan with tripartite front windows. A parterre garden design, popular in the 1800s, featured beds lined with boxwood. The grounds contained a smokehouse, outdoor kitchen, large carriage house, and pasture for livestock. Two rooms were added in the late 1800s. Erastus Clark bought the house from the Rutgers family in 1893, and his descendants occupied the home until the 1950s. An indoor kitchen and wainscoting were added in 1926. The original property stretched from McDaniel Street and Meridian Road to the present half-city block. The Tallahassee Garden Club purchased the property in 1954. The Rutgers House was listed in the National Register of Historical Places in 1979 as a contributing property in the Calhoun Street Historic District. The house is also a contributing property in the Tallahassee-Leon County Register of Historic Places' Calhoun Street Special Character District.

Tallahassee Garden Club Center

The Tallahassee Garden Club was founded on October 26, 1926. The first president was Florida State College for Women botany professor Dr. L.S. Barber. A constitution and by-laws were drafted in 1930 that outlined the purposes of the club: "To encourage garden planting and culture in Tallahassee. To promote co-operative gardening. To aid in the protection of wild flowers and shrubs. To study in all its aspects the fine art of gardening, and to encourage city beautification through all available agencies. To aid in the protection of wild flowers and shrubs. To study in all its aspects the fine art of gardening, and to encourage the dissemination of same." The slogan "This Is Our City. Let's Beautify It" was adopted. Much of the club's community service included school and roadway plantings, protection and promotion of wildflower growth, educational speakers, decorations for civic organizations flower shows, youth gardening, Blue Star Markers, and aiding the city and state in an anti-litter campaign. Originally, the ladies met in the homes of members. The club purchased the Rutgers House in 1954 to use as a clubhouse. Since then, the Tallahassee Garden Club has preserved the house's historical authenticity and used it as a space to hose community events.

Sponsored by The Families of Robert A. and David F. Lee,
in Memory of Edna Eubanks Lee,
Member of Tallahassee Garden Club,
Dogwood Circle, from 1945-2003,
and the Florida Department of State