East Cobb Garden Tour Set for September 17

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Pictured above are the members of the organizing committee for the East Cobb Garden Tour. Standing L-R: Linda Pace, Karin Guzy, Kim Sherk, Diane Tanger, Lisa Krueger, Janet Thomas; Seated L-R: Harriet Eicken, Martha Bechtel, Tina Engberg, Pat Iffaldano, Lynn Thompson (Chairman).

The Cobb Land Trust 2017 East Cobb Garden Tour is set for Sunday, September 17 from 12-5pm. Featuring McFarlane Nature Park its historical caretaker’s home plus four additional private gardens, the East Cobb Garden Tour will benefit McFarlane Nature Park located at 280 Farm Road in East Cobb.

About McFarlane Nature Park:
The 11-acre property and home have connections to many well-known family names in the development of the Metro Atlanta area. The farm was the centerpiece of extensive agricultural acreage owned by the late Atlanta attorney, Hughes Spalding, Sr. The property adjoined farmland of noted attorney and Judge John A. Sibley.

Spalding commissioned the design of the house in 1941 for his farm manager Floyd Spruill. The architect he chose was Henry Toombs, who also designed the Little White House in Warm Springs, GA for President Roosevelt. The house has chimneys on either end made of stone from the Sope Creek quarry and a slate roof moved from the Spalding’s home called Deerland which stood where Piedmont Hospital now is in Midtown Atlanta.

Florence and William McFarlane purchased the property in 1958. The couple boarded polo ponies and raised lineage dogs on the property. They stipulated that after their death, the property be kept in a natural state and used as a neighborhood green space, maintaining the serenity of the property. Mrs. McFarlane died in October 1990.

After Florence’s death, there were several years before legalities were resolved. During this time the house and property fell into a state of disrepair. Thousands of contributed dollars and hours were required to make the house habitable and the grounds attractive again.

The Cobb Land Trust came to hold the lease in 1992 and became responsible for protecting the land which was named McFarlane Nature Park. The local Chattahoochee Plantation Community Association donated funding for the initial expensive and extensive repairs required and has remained the primary contributing organization. Workdays were scheduled during which adjacent homeowners helped accomplish the work required. A slate sidewalk was uncovered leading to the front door.

The Chattahoochee Plantation Women’s Club (CPWC) has been a major supporter of the park, contributing funds toward the construction of a permanent restroom facility, and for the restoration of the original stable where park history will be displayed for visitors. CPWC adopted McFarlane as their charity for both 2009 and 2010. In 2013-2016, the club held a major fundraiser, Art for the Park, featuring over 40 fine artists in a two-day sale.

“We invite the entire community to enjoy the unique gardens on the tour,” said Lynn Thompson, Chairman of the event. “It is our goal to raise funds for maintaining this historic property while showcasing the beautiful private gardens in the area.”

The 2017 East Cobb Garden Tour is self-guided, and the five gardens may be visited in any order. Donations may be made online or to Cobb Land Trust 501(c)3, P.O. Box 672652, Marietta 30006. The East Cobb Garden Tour will be held rain or shine, and tickets can be purchased for $30 at the event or $25 in advance at www.eastcobbgardentour.com. For more information, visit www.eastcobbgardentour.com or email [email protected]

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