The Connecticut Dahlia Society History Page

History of the Connecticut Dahlia Society, Inc.

On February 21, 1959, the following eleven men met in Waterbury Connecticut to form the Connecticut Dahlia Society:

Harry Allyn, Terryville, CT
Lester Andrew, Waterbury, CT
Fred Calkins, Waterbury, CT
Franklin Dressel, Mildale, CT
Walter Hardisty, Watertown, CT
Charles Hobbs, Watertown, CT
Clarence Johnson, Watertown, CT
Thomas McNulty, Brookfield, CT
Ernest Miller, Plantsville, CT
Frank Seaman, Danbury, CT
Paul Smith, Waterbury, CT
Paul Smith was the founder of the Connecticut Dahlia Society and he was also elected as its’ first President. The first show of the society was held on September 9 & 10 of 1959 in the Shopping Plaza, on Chase Avenue, in Waterbury.

The society then held its’ second and third shows in Waterbury, before moving to the Pond House in Elizabeth Park in Hartford for two years. Following shows were held in Fairfield, Wolcott, Prospect, Windsor Locks, Cheshire, and for the past 15 years annual shows have again been held at the Pond House in Elizabeth Park in Hartford. The CDS has hosted the National Shows of the American Dahlia Society in both 1982 and 1989 in Windsor Locks

The Connecticut Dahlia Society is an affiliated society of the American Dahlia Society dahlia.org and has its’ judges credentialed according to the standards of the ADS. The CDS is also a member of the North Atlantic Dahlia Conference that consists of seven other societies from the states of New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

For the past 14 years, the Connecticut Dahlia Society has been maintaining a Display Garden in Elizabeth Park in Hartford for park visitors to enjoy. Annual Root Sales are held in April and monthly meetings are usually held on the second Sunday of most months in the Waterbury area.

The Annual Show of the CDS is always held on the fourth Saturday in August. The 55th Show of the CDS will be held on August 24, 2013 at the Pond House in Elizabeth Park. Admission for the public is from 1:30 to 4:30 and it is free. Exhibitors from many states will display their blooms at this show.

The mission of the CDS is to stimulate interest in, and promote the culture and development of the dahlia; to conduct and promote public exhibition of dahlias in Connecticut; to assist its members in learning the most effective ways of dahlia culture; to promote good fellowship; and to devote all profits accruing to the society to the above purposes.

Connecticut Dahlia Society, Inc. Past Presidents

Order Year Name and City
1st 1959 Paul Smith, Waterbury
2nd 1960 Paul Smith, Waterbury
3rd 1961 Harry Allyn, Terryville
4th 1962 Daniel Dearborn, Bristol
5th 1963 Daniel Dearborn, Bristol
6th 1964 Walter Wengell, Bridgeport
7th 1965 Walter Wengell, Bridgeport
8th 1966 Joseph Gentile, Wolcott
9th 1967 Walter Wengell, Bridgeport
10th 1968 Paul Smith, Waterbury
11th 1969 Adolph Birkenberger, Wolcott
12th 1970 William Sperber, West Hartford
13th 1971 Michael Kantor, Watertown
14th 1972 Lester Andrew, Waterbury
15th 1973 P. Sheldon Remington, Greenwich
16th 1974 Earle Emmons, Milford
17th 1975 Thomas McNulty, Brookfield
18th 1976 Stanley Hickman, Ansonia
19th 1977 Marjorie Schnerr, Prospect
20th 1978 Marjorie Schnerr, Prospect
21st 1979 Michael Pryor, Woodbridge
22nd 1980 Michael Pryor, Woodbridge
23rd 1981 Derek Tyler, Cheshire
24th 1982 Derek Tyler, Cheshire
25th 1983 John Yarwood, Madison
26th 1984 John Yarwood, Madison
27th 1985 Barry Wight, Plantsville
28th 1986 Barry Wight, Plantsville
29th 1987 Marjorie Schnerr, Prospect
30th 1988 Marjorie Schnerr, Prospect
31st 1989 Michael Pryor, Woodbridge
32nd 1990 Michael Pryor, Woodbridge
33rd 1991 Frank Webber, Wolcott
34th 1992 Frank Webber, Wolcott
35th 1993 Marjorie Schnerr, Prospect
36th 1994 Marjorie Schnerr, Prospect
37th 1995 Kevin Wasilewski, Wallingford
38th 1996 Kevin Wasilewski, Wallingford
39th 1997 Kevin Wasilewski, Wallingford
40th 1998 Joseph Jasonis, Winsted
41st 1999 Joseph Jasonis, Winsted
42nd 2000 Bob Preuss, Cheshire
43rd 2001 Bob Preuss, Cheshire
44th 2002 Jesse Peterson, Harwinton
45th 2003 Jesse Peterson, Harwinton
46th 2004 Kevin Wasilewski, Wallingford
47th 2005 Kevin Wasilewski, Wallingford
48th 2006 Marjorie Schnerr, Prospect
49th 2007 Marjorie Schnerr, Prospect
50th 2008 Jonathan Wooten, Fairfield
51st 2009 Jonathan Wooten, Fairfield
52nd 2010 Jesse Peterson, Harwinton
53rd 2011 Jesse Peterson, Harwinton
54th 2012 Jesse Peterson, Harwinton
55th 2013 Donna Paternostro, Waterbury
56th 2014 Donna Paternostro, Waterbury
57th 2015 Donna Paternostro, Waterbury
58th 2016 Marjorie Schnerr, Prospect