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Kenilworth Park in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Helen Shaw Fowler

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

 

National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

 
Helen Shaw Fowler Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 27, 2019
1. Helen Shaw Fowler Marker
Inscription.  Helen Fowler took over administration of the Shaw Gardens from her father in 1912. Under her guidance the gardens grew into one of the most extensive water plant businesses in the nation. By 1938, Shaw Gardens encompassed 42 ponds spread over nine acres contained 500,000 plants. Widely respected, Fowler traveled the world to collect lilies and roots. The botanist and curator of the U.S. National Herbarium gave her a letter of introduction to directors of botanical gardens in the West Indies and South America.

The business was progressive for its time. In addition to being woman-owned, Helen Fowler employed a number of local African American residents. She was the first woman in Washington, D.C. to have a commercial driver's license.

Local women's organizations such as the YWCA and the Women's Improvement Club of Silver Spring, Maryland, recognized Helen's role as a business owner and invited her to speak on several occasions.

Presiding over the whole establishment — ponds, pools, greenhouses, studio — is a woman, Mrs. Helen L. Fowler"
1935 article in the Washington Post


[Aside:]
From
Helen Shaw Fowler Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 27, 2019
2. Helen Shaw Fowler Marker
Commerce to Community


A proposed expansion of Anacostia Park by eminent domain, to include seizure of the Shaw Gardens, sparked a 19-year legal battle.

Helen Fowler led the Shaw family in opposing this plan by the federal government. With public and political pressure weighing against her, Helen Fowler agreed to sell the gardens to the government in 1938, for $50,000.

She lived on this property, serving as an authority on aquatic plants and advisor to the national park staff, until her death in 1957.

 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 54.767′ N, 76° 56.517′ W. Marker is in Kenilworth Park, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Anacostia Avenue Northeast just west of Ponds Street Northeast, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1550 Anacostia Avenue Northeast, Washington DC 20019, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Preserve and Protect (a few steps from this marker); Aquatic Greenhouse #1 (a few steps from this marker); Aquatic Greenhouse #3 (within shouting distance of this marker); Display Pools (within shouting distance of this marker); Beauty and Business (about
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400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Victoria amazonica (approx. 0.2 miles away); Under the Boardwalk (approx. 0.2 miles away); Birds, Wetlands and... Conservation (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kenilworth Park.
 
Categories. African AmericansHorticulture & ForestryIndustry & CommerceParks & Recreational Areas
 

More. Search the internet for Helen Shaw Fowler.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 27, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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