Commemorating 90 years of Pearson’s Falls stewardship

Published 5:12 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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On  November 3, 2021, a special gathering was held to commemorate the Tryon Garden Club’s 90th anniversary of the club’s historic conservation project, the acquisition and continued stewardship of Pearson’s Falls and Glen. With the palette of autumn leaves and the crisp blue sky as a backdrop in the glen, Tryon Garden Club President Beth Rounds gave recognition to past and present board members. The  Club’s Historian Joy Soderquist recounted the early Tryon Garden Club’s history and read excerpts of thank you letters written by Tryon Grade School third graders. Guests were entertained by the students’ creative writing  descriptions of their “awesome” and “epic” experiences describing touching tree bark and buckeyes, hearing the roaring waterfall, seeing moss and leaves up close, smelling nature, and feeling the Falls’ mist on their faces. They expressed their appreciation that the Tryon Garden Club invited them to visit for free.

A new history plaque is now located on the Whally Stone Picnic Shelter giving special recognition to the Tryon Garden Club’s Visionaries. It reads:


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Since 1931 the Tryon Garden Club has been devoted stewards of this 90-foot waterfall and botanical sanctuary. This cove forest is an example of one of the most diverse habitats of native plants, trees, birds, and wildlife on earth. 

During the 1930s economic depression these visionaries represented the Pearson’s Falls and Glen property acquisition committee of the Tryon Garden Club. Since that time, generations have continued to enjoy and cherish this treasured site of biodiversity located here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. 

Members of this 1931 committee: Felicia Calhoun, Mae Irene Flentye, Carrie Fraser, Mary Gordan, Mary Graham, Minnie Hester, May Kelley, Frances Lightner, Anne Nash, Elia Peattie, Sarah Speed and Helen Stearns.


Many of these Tryon “Notables” listed on the plaque have descendants that even today continue their legacy of making significant contributions in their present-day communities.

 Tryon Garden Club archival displays in the Garden House included the original 1931 Pearson’s Falls property surveyed by Anson Angus Merrick. Visit for further information on Pearson’s Falls and Glen.


Submitted by Joy Soderquist