Los Angeles Flower Festival Society Records

Finding aid prepared by Xiaofei Wang.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2008
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Los Angeles Flower Festival Society Records
Dates: 1885-1891
Collection Number: mssFlower Festival
Creator: Los Angeles Flower Festival Society.
Extent: 114 items in 1 box
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection contains correspondence, festival and fair programs, newspaper clippings, photographs, a notebook, a list of donations, and other documents about the Flower Festival Society, a women's association in Los Angeles, California, dating from 1885 to 1891. The records provide a unique perspective to view California women’s history and leisure activities at the end of the nineteenth century.
Language of Material: The records are in English.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Los Angeles Flower Festival Society Records, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Purchased from Dawson’s Book Shop, March 26, 1958.

Historical Note

The Flower Festival Society was a Los Angeles women’s association active in the late 19th century. In 1885, it was established to “give the protection and comfort of home life at a reasonable rate to working women, also to furnish situations to those seeking employment, and engage in such benevolent work as the Board may agree upon,” as the constitution of the Society stated. The Society's Advisory Board was composed of the presidents of several local non-governmental organizations such as the Los Angeles YMCA.
Mrs. R. M. Widney was the founding and only president of the Society. In 1889, the position of president was replaced by a three-member executive committee without Widney. Miss Mary E. McLellan served as the Financial Secretary when the Society was founded. Since 1885, each April the society would host a flower exhibition, which was named the “Flower Festival” from 1887. As one of the managers of the 1888 Flower Festival, McLellan was in charge of inviting important guests to the Festival’s opening ceremony. From 1889 to 1891, members of the Society also organized the Annual Chrysanthemum Fairs. While the first and the third Fair were held in October, the second Fair in 1890 commenced on October 29 and closed on November 7.

Scope and Content

This collection contains records of the Flower Festival Society, a women's association in Los Angeles, California, dating from 1885 to 1891. The records include correspondence, festival and fair programs, newspaper clippings, photographs, a notebook, a list of donations, and other documents about the Flower Festival Society. The records provide a unique perspective to view California women’s history and leisure activities at the end of the nineteenth century. In addition, newspaper clippings about the Chrysanthemum Fair include some women’s favorable perceptions of Japanese and Chinese art and culture.
Subjects in the records include Arrowhead Springs (Calif.), Chinese Art objects, Chinese culture and civilization, Chrysanthemums – China, Chrysanthemums – Japan, Japanese Art objects, Los Angeles times, Southern Pacific Transportation Company, and the YMCA of the USA.

Arrangement

The folders are arranged in chronological order. The items in each folder, whenever possible, are also arranged chronologically.

Indexing Terms

Corporate Names

Los Angeles Times (Firm)
Los Angeles Flower Festival Society -- Archives.
YMCA of the USA.
Southern Pacific Transportation Company.

Subjects

Art objects, Chinese.
Art objects, Japanese.
Chinese culture & civilization.
Chrysanthemums -- China.
Chrysanthemums -- Japan.
Clubs -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archives.
Clubs -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Flower shows -- California -- Los Angeles.
Women -- Societies and clubs -- California -- Los Angeles.

Geographic Areas

Arrowhead Springs (Calif.)
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.

Genre

Ephemera California Los Angeles 19th century.
Letters (correspondence) California Los Angeles 19th century.
Photographs California Los Angeles 19th century.
Programs California Los Angeles 19th century.
Reports California Los Angeles 19th century.


Collection Contents

Box 1

Los Angeles Flower Festival Society Records

Folder 1

Flower Festival Society Rules. 3 items. 1885

Folder 2

Handwritten Speech. 1 item. after 1885

Folder 3

Correspondence. 4 items. 1886-1888

Folder 4

Simpson Tabernacle and Chrysanthemum Fair. 23 items. (1886-1895)

Folder 5

Letters to Mrs. R. M. Widney. 6 items. 1887-1888

Folder 6

Flower Festival Programs. 6 items. 1887-1890

Folder 7

Letters to Mary E. McLellan. 14 items. 1888

Folder 8

Notebook by Mrs. R. M. Widney. 1 item. 1888

Folder 9

Newspaper Clippings. 43 items. 1888-1891

Folder 10

Photographs of the First and Third Annual Chrysanthemum Fair. 12 items. 1889-1891

Folder 11

List of Donations. 1 item. undated