Letters to the EditorNews

The Original Botanical Garden

I was just reading Stella Smith’s story on businesses on West Broad between Milledge and downtown. Something that always struck me as odd about that area, particularly as a historian-in-training at the University of Georgia, was that there was never any effort to recognize or reclaim any of that area as the original UGA botanical garden.  When I used to stare at all of those kudzu-covered trees in those gulches below Dearing Street over toward Reese Street and the Ramada Inn, I used to wonder if any of those old trees were not specimens from the botanical garden, long forgotten.  I used to discuss this possibility with Phinizy Spalding and with Susan Frances Barrow Tate. Phinizy Spalding and William McFeely—who lived directly above the area—speculated that some of those trees might have been connected to the botanical garden.  UGA sold off the garden, if I am remembering correctly, in order to pay for the iron fence around Old Campus.  It would be a cool project for a graduate student in forestry or historic preservation class.