At the end of the path from the front gate of the garden to the Martha Crone Shelter will be found a large granite boulder bearing a dedication to Eloise Butler. The boulder was placed the year following her death and originally sat in front of a Pin Oak tree that was planted in her memory. Today the tablet is shaded by a large Leatherwood Shrub. The text of the dedication tablet reads as follows:
In loving memory of Eloise Butler (1851-1933), teacher of botany in Minneapolis Schools, Founder and first curator of this native plant reserve. This oak has been planted and this tablet erected by a grateful public.
To this sequestered glen Miss Butler brought beautiful native plants from all sections of our state and tended them with patient care. This priceless garden is our heritage from her and its continued preservation a living testimony of our appreciation. Here her ashes are scattered and here her protective spirit lingers.
(Click on the photo for a larger image)
(Additional detail on the creation of the tablet and the dedication)
Clinton Odell was the founder of The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden. In the newspaper photo below are: left - Mrs. Carroll Binder (Dorothy) was one of the founders of The Friends and at the time, was President. -center- Martha Crone was also a founder of the Friends and at the time was Secretary - Treasurer and editor of The Fringed Gentian™. She had just retired from the position of Garden Curator. -right- Mrs. Clinton Odell (Amy).
Above: The dedication tablet on the Odell bench in the Upland Garden. 2nd photo: The dedication tablet for the bird bath (photo below) in memory of Amy H. Odell who passed away on Dec. 7, 1966.
Below: A pair of Kasota Limestone benches dedicated to Clinton Odell, located just off the patio area in front of the Martha Crone Visitor's Shelter in the Woodland Garden near the location of the former Garden Office (dedication tablet at left). These were presented by his daughter, Moana Odell Beim; installed in 1960. They replaced a pair of wooden "settees" that at the time, were very close to the site of the old "office." The bird bath of Kasota limestone, is dedicated to Amy H. Odell, spouse of Clinton Odell; it was presented by family and friends in 1968, and is located between the two benches. In early 2018 a tree fell on the bird bath and cracked the basin. The cement shop foreman of the Park Board formed a new limestone top to match the original (larger photo below). (photos G D Bebeau).
The history of the Baker bench is explained in this letter to The Friends from Zachary Baker: I am a native of Minneapolis, and last lived there about 30 years ago. I visit the Wild Flower Garden whenever I get back to town – some of my earliest childhood memories are connected with outings there. For my mother, the late Marjorie Baker, the Garden was a very special place, and after she passed away (1973) my father arranged to have plaques in her memory placed by two benches – one in the forest garden, the other in the prairie garden. My father, Mike Baker, died a little over a year ago, and I have been to the Garden several times during visits connected with estate matters. I feel that the very least I can to is to join the Friends as a sponsor. That way, the Baker family will maintain its connection to the Garden for the present and future. Zachary Baker.
Other benches: The two benches on the path from the front gate down to the Crone Shelter are memorials for Dr. Marion Grimes and Harold E. Dahlquist.
The 81 x 42 inch Walnut table in the Martha Crone Shelter was a gift of Ms. Elizabeth Schutt in memory of her mother, Mrs. Clara M. Schutt, who was a good friend of Eloise Butler and from whose property, Eloise Butler acquired plant specimens for the Garden.
Kenneth Avery fulfilled the role of Garden Curator for the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, succeeding Martha Crone. In 2005 The Friends provided funds for the creation of the Ken Avery Birding Terrace in remembrance of Ken and the dedication he gave to the Garden. It is situated on the back path that goes from the Woodland Garden up to the Upland Garden. (Photos G D Bebeau)
Below: The Avery Birding Terrace in late April before new plant growth. An early April birding group, led by naturalist Tammy Mercer (with staff in hand), at the Ken Avery Birding Terrace, 2006 (Photo Phoebe Waugh).
Cary George was the 4th person entrusted with the daily care of the Wildflower Garden. He succeeded Ken Avery who retired at the end of 1986. Cary was gardener through the end of 2003. In 2011 The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden began fundraising for a new bridge to replace the old cedar bridge over the water channel leading to the Garden pool. This project enlarged to encompass a boardwalk through that section of the Marsh. The boardwalk was installed in July of 2015 and the bridge section was dedicated in honor of Cary George on Sept. 20, 2015. (photos G D Bebeau)