An Awareness, an Avowal - and an Appeal

By Lee Lattimer

Just this past sum­mer, I vis­it­ed three his­toric land­marks in New­port, RI, all for­mer sum­mer cot­tages” of the 19th Cen­tu­ry elite. The last home I toured was The Elms,” com­plet­ed in 1901 for Mr. Edward Berwind, who had made his for­tune in coal. When his wife died in 1922, Edward’s sis­ter Julia came to live there and inher­it­ed the house upon his death. When she died in 1961, the con­tents were auc­tioned off, and the house was sold to a devel­op­er who planned to raze the house and replace it with a park­ing lot. For­tu­nate­ly, just weeks before demo­li­tion, The Elms” was pur­chased by the Preser­va­tion Soci­ety of New­port Coun­ty. The house was refur­bished and list­ed on the Nation­al Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places; it was lat­er des­ig­nat­ed a Nation­al His­toric Land­mark. This last minute res­cue was yet anoth­er event that con­vinced me of the impor­tance of pre­serv­ing our country’s her­itage, man-made or natural. 

No doubt less archi­tec­tural­ly dis­tin­guished than The Elms,” the George Lan­dis Arbore­tum is anoth­er such place that must be pre­served for cur­rent and future generations.

Many years ago, my appre­ci­a­tion of the Arbore­tum became a deter­mi­na­tion. I vowed that what­ev­er tal­ents I pos­sessed would be direct­ed to pro­tect­ing this local nat­ur­al trea­sure. Since then, I have worked at many plant sales, assist­ed with class­es, pho­tographed Lan­dis’ won­ders, and inves­ti­gat­ed its his­to­ry. I enjoy being a mem­ber of the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mit­tee, writ­ing and edit­ing arti­cles for this newslet­ter. Most recent­ly, I was hon­ored to become a mem­ber of the Arboretum’s Board of Trustees. 

I look for­ward to my respon­si­bil­i­ties as a new Board mem­ber, espe­cial­ly the oppor­tu­ni­ty to cel­e­brate the Arboretum’s past, a task that comes to me nat­u­ral­ly as a his­to­ri­an. I am plan­ning to assem­ble a dis­play of arti­facts asso­ci­at­ed with Fred Lape, George Lan­dis, LeV­an Love­land, and oth­ers tied to the Arboretum’s his­to­ry. I would be inter­est­ed in any pic­tures, doc­u­ments, let­ters, books, etc., that might enhance the dis­play, par­tic­u­lar­ly pho­tos of George Lan­dis or Van Love­land. If you can help, please con­tact the Arbore­tum at 5188756935 or by email at info@​landisarboretum.​org.

Winter 2016

Volume 34 , Number 1

Share this

The Latest from Landis

Oct 07, 2023 | Nolan Marciniec

The Landis community mourns the loss of Anne Donnelly on October 4, 2023

Anne Donnelly was the first of the many friends I’ve made at the Arboretum and... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Fred Breglia, Executive Director

From the Director’s Desk: Update on the Big Tree Search

Landis Arboretum has successfully kicked off its most recent Big Tree Search, and the tree... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Erin McKenna Breglia

From the Garden: Your Autumn Garden Must Haves!

It’s certainly been a rainy summer, but the rain has helped keep our plants green... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Nolan Marciniec

Landis Portraits: A Series About the People Behind the Plants at the Arboretum - Chuck Mueller

Chuck Mueller Volunteering, Chuck Mueller said, “is something you have to believe in . ... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Nolan Marciniec

Volunteers Celebrate Meeting House Renovation

Shawn Bevins, Jim Paley, Craig Blevins, Fred Breglia, and Peter Bakal On a Sunday afternoon... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Sam McClary

Apples and Man: A Book Review

Apples and Man, by Fred Lape “Apples and Man,” written by Arboretum founder Fred Lape... read more

News Archive