History of the Clark Landsbaum Deming Park Holly Arboretum

In 1990 the idea for creating a holly arboretum in Terre Haute was being formulated by Bill and Marilyn Clark. In 1991 Mayor Pete Chalos approved the idea and site selection began. Finally, in 1992, Deming Park was selected to become the home of the Deming Park Holly Arboretum. The Great Rivers Chapter of the Holly Society of America voted to show its’ support by donating $500 to help pay for the initial plant acquisition. By October, 1992 the initial planting of 60 hollies had been completed. In 1993 the Bernheim Arboretum presented a gift of six additional large holly specimens. These are still the largest hollies in the arboretum.

When Luke Dever, local distributor for Anheuser-Busch, learned of the difficulty in securing transportation for the hollies from the Washington D.C. area, he conceived the idea of forming the “Anheuser-Busch Holly Tree Pony Express Caravan” to bring the many specimens to Deming Park. The Holly Caravan consisted on 7 different Anheuser-Busch distributors from across the country from Hagerstown, MD, to Greenfield, IN, transporting 60 hollies from distributorship to distributorship enclosed in the bays of their beer trucks. Mr. Dever’s beer truck brought the plants the final leg from Greenfield, IN to Terre Haute.

The arboretum patio garden provides visitors a tranquil place to relax.

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The Deming Park Holly Arboretum in 1998 was recognized by the Holly Society of America as an Official Holly Arboretum. This made it a member of a select group, one of only 18 Official Holly Arboreta in the United States and one of only 21 in the world. It is also the only arboretum located in a city park. In July 1998 a new patio garden was installed in the arboretum. It is constructed of Pennsylvania blue stone with outcropping edges of native flagstone. The patio is surrounded by a holly garden, seasonally colored plants and a variety of ivy. This beautiful addition has become a tranquil site for visitors to enjoy the beauty of the arboretum.

In October, 1999 the arboretum was awarded the State of Indiana’s Outstanding Urban Forestry Project of the Year

The year 2000 brought several new additions to the arboretum. The Terre Haute Rotary presented a gift of a new shelter to the Holly Arboretum to be used as an interpretive center. The new formal entryway to the arboretum began construction. The Gateway Garden project consisted of the natural stone wall, the arboretum sign, and the entrance garden consisting of 64 hollies.

In the fall of 2000 the name of the arboretum was changed to Clark-Landsbaum Deming Park Holly Arboretum. This change was made to honor Bill & Marilyn Clark, and Morris Landsbaum, a local businessman who bequeathed funds for the continued preservation of the arboretum.

During the ensuing years the arboretum has continued to prosper and grow. To date there are more than 400 holly trees. Because of the generosity of many organizations and individuals,Zenith Replica the arboretum has continued to be a place for people to learn about and enjoy the beauty of hollies.

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Deming Park, 500 S · Fruitridge Avenue Terre Haute, Indiana
Copyright ©2012 by Friends of the Arboretum, Inc