Garden  Alumni



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This Alumni/Friends group serves the following Purposes:

   To preserve the memory and history of Garden High School (GHS) and Triangular Mountain Institute (TMI).  Also, to obtain TMI documentation, GHS Newsletter (The Gardener) documentation and a complete set of all GHS Annuals.  Subject documentation will be preserved for historical and reference purposes.

   To establish and operate an Internet Website ( solely dedicated to support the interests of GHS Alumni /Friends.  Also, to operate and maintain: 
*  an email list of Alumni/Friends;
      *  an Internet forum as a bases for Alumni/Friends communications; and,
      *  a "meeting place" for Alumni/Friends to find former classmates, friends, and/or teachers.

   To operate on a non-profit basis. To obtain a place for storage and preservation of the GHS Annuals, TMI documentation, GHS Newsletter documentation and the GHS Annuals.

   To cooperate and support Community Service Projects sponsored by the University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy (UACP).  Also, to promote and/or sponsor educational programs and other activities in the area. 

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     Garden Alumni and Friends meet bi-monthly (Jan, Mar, May, July, Sep & Nov) for lunch on the second Tuesday at Lebanon Bonanza Restaurant, Lebanon, VA  at twelve noon.  All who attended Garden High are welcome to come and eat and socialize.   Coordinator for the bi-monthly meetings is Pearlie Owens Ramsey'52 (email: and phone:  276.880.2299).

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11 July 2012

 The Garden Alumni Association met at the Rainbow Restaurant in Deel, VA, on July 11, 2012, for the purpose of reviewing Garden Day and electing new officers. GAA Vice President, Chuck Ratliff chaired the meeting.

The first order of business was to review the First Annual Garden Day sponsored jointly by the Appalachian College of Pharmacy and the Garden Alumni Association on June 30, 2012. After agreeing that Garden Day was a huge success, attracting nearly 600 former Garden students, their families, and friends, the group reviewed specific parts of the Day. 

The group generally agreed that being allowed to use the facilities at the College, formerly Garden High School, was the main draw. Other positives included the exhibits of high school memorabilia in the gym, the opportunity to mix and mingle with classmates, the quality and number of vendors, the quality of the music in the gym and on the porch at McGlothlin Hall, parking and shuttle service.

Among the things to be reconsidered 1)The question as to whether Garden Day is just to be a reunion event or a community festival; 2) The question as to whether or not games for children were necessary or a waste; 3) The question as to whether or not Garden Day should be a one or two-day event; 4) The question as to whether or not the sound system in the gym is sufficient; and 5) The question as to whether or not a different time of day and/or year would be preferable for the next event.  Additionally, the group discussed having a street dance with Bob Keene’s Band.

Different members expressed views on each of these items. The general consensus was that Garden Day should be held next year and that the format should be basically the same with some tweaking:

·         larger name tags,

·         more time to prepare,

·          the use of committees made up of several people so that those “working” the event could participate in the Alumni meeting and other events and not be left to cover their stations all day,

·         better sound system in the gym,

·         better & more avenues of publicity – class contacts, e-mail data base, etc.

·         something to attract the more recent graduates

After concluding discussion, new officers were elected:

Tim Owens - President;  Eddie T. Farmer Vice-President; Janie Owens - Secretary;  Holli R. Harmon - Treasurer;  Janet Fletcher - Reporter;
 and Bill Coxton - Webmasters 

The group expressed heartfelt gratitude to outgoing officers and GAA board members: President Bill Coxton , Vice-President Chuck Ratliff, Treasurer Shelvie Osborne Crawford, Kathy Witt’79, Lewis Addison’57, Lois Abbott Null’64, Janie Abbott Hale’65 (deceased), Gina Ratliff Simpson’80, and Janie Owens’64.

It was the consensus of the group that Chuck Ratliff had done a fantastic job as Vice-President and Chairman of the Garden Day Planning Committee. The group also agreed that Garden Day could not have happened without the efforts of Bill Coxton and Mickey McGlothlin.

At the end of the meeting, newly elected president Tim Owens advised the group that he would check with the Appalachian College of Pharmacy and the Chamber of Commerce. If there were no conflicts with the college or other county events, he would schedule The Second Annual Garden Day on June 29, 2013.


Submitted by Janie Owens     


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The Garden Seal (to the left) was designed by Alumni/Principal Janie Owens'64, and it reflects:

  The Learning Lamp as our Goal in Life;
  The Mountains with Tri-Peaks to represent our Origin from Triangular Mountain Institute (TMI);
  The Coal Miner Symbol represents the Life-Blood of our Community during those early Decades of GHS; and,
  The Green Dragon as our Mascot and School Spirit.

The stained glass Garden Alumni Logo is to the right:


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Date: 27 February 2007;  Location: Appalachian College of Pharmacy, Oakwood, VA


Bill Coxton, president of the Garden Alumni Association, called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. Bill discussed the Garden Echo yearbooks that have been scanned and digitalized.  All yearbooks have been digitalized.

The preservation of Garden High memorabilia and the Garden Museum, currently located at the Gift of Love building, were discussed.  It was noted that several people had made donations of memorabilia to the museum.  Hopefully when the Pharmacy the school builds a new building the Alumni Association will be able to house the Garden High School-TMI memorabilia in a room there.
Bill stated that it had cost the Alumni Association about $500.00 for the Pharmacy school open house.

Discussion on ways to raise funds for the Alumni Association followed.    Someone suggested that the Alumni Association sale bricks for the park that will be built at the Pharmacy School.  Bill suggested that when the park is built that a Veterans Memorial be constructed and dedicated to the Veterans who have attended GHS.  Bill said the Association will be a non-profit organization which will allow for donations to the organization.  It was suggested that the Alumni Association collect dues from member.  Alma Proffitt made a motion that the dues be $10.00 which would entitle the member to a business card that showed they were a paid member of the Garden High School Alumni Association.  This was approved.  Janie Owens made a motion to also have a Gold Membership which would cost $25.00.  These members would receive the business card plus a photo of GHS or decal or something similar to these things.  This motion also passed.  Lois Null asked if it would be possible to get the presentation that was shown prior to the ceremonies of the open house.  Janie Owens suggested that if more of the later teachers and students could be added to the DVD then possibly the Alumni Association could sell copies of it.  It was suggested that the Elementary teachers and students also be included in this project.

Bill stated that he had a list of graduates from 1943 until the school closed but that he was looking for a list of students who graduated in 1940, 1941, and 1942.  He stated that he had tried to contact Mr. Tommy Justus, superintendent of Buchanan County Public Schools, but had not heard back from him.  The Association is also looking for addresses of Alumni from GHS.  Grace Ratliff and Janice Shortt Taylor have several lists of names and address of GHS students.  Chuck Ratliff stated he had the list for the class of ‘79.

The president talked about the Web site for the Alumni Association.  He would like to keep on the website a list of former graduates and students who have passed away.  It was suggested that the Association keep flowers at the Pharmacy School in honor of all alumni who pass away at the time of their deaths. 

The Alumni Association will work with the Pharmacy School in setting up meetings that will benefit the public.  Examples:  a public meeting where the elderly and their caretakers can come in and asked about medications that they are currently taking; a water study of the local streams in Buchanan County.  Janie Owens will be the contact between the Alumni Association and the Pharmacy School.  Jerry Elkins will coordinate the water study with the Pharmacy School.

July 7, 2007 will be reserved for the Class of 1957 to hold its 50th year class reunion, at least four different classes may take part in this reunion.  It was discussed that sometime in the future that an entire GHS reunion be held.  No discussion of dates occurred.

A motion was made to reserve the Pharmacy School the Saturday following the fourth of July each year for the Alumni Association to hold its annual meeting.  This motion passed.

Bill talked about the book he had written commemorating the beginning of GHS until 1967.  He is in the process of writing the history from 1968 until 1982, the year it moved to its new location on Rt. 460.  Volume Three will be about GHS from 1983 until it closed in 2001.  A book about TMI is also planned.

Chuck Ratliff, vice president, thanked Bill for all of his hard work and dedication to keeping the memory of Garden High School and the mighty Green Dragons alive.

Mickey McGlothlin came in to the meeting.  He thanked the Alumni group for their hard work and dedication to the Pharmacy School.  The Alumni group also thanked him for all that he had done to preserve the GHS building and bring it back to the forefront of the community.  Mickey stated that there are 60 students using the GHS building and 65 students at the Slate Creek site.  He said that in the future the entire Pharmacy School would be located on the GHS site.  A new building is in the future.  When the new building opens, Mickey stated that they hope to turn the gym back into a usable gym for the Garden community. Bill told the Alumni that they should take the time to look at the Pharmacy School’s website 

Jerry Elkins talked about the Pharmacy School and its involvement in protecting the environment.  He said if anyone had concerns or wanted to talk about the environment to please contact him.  He will be working closely with the Pharmacy School on this endeavor. 

Bill closed the meeting at 4:55 p.m.

Kath Witt.

Secretary, Garden Alumni

Minutes approved and below data added by Bill Coxton.

Contact data associated with the Alumni Co-Treasures is as follows:

Shelvie Osborne Crawford’57 Lewis Addison'57
600 Hagy Street, Abingdom, VA  223210 Box 328, Oakwood, VA 24631
Phone: (276) 676-2698 Phone: (276) 498-3667

Alumni Officers 2007


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