History of the Garden
The Pond in the lower right corner of this 1911 map is the current location of the Sunken Garden.
Shelbyville Memorial Sunken Garden
In 1932, as part of an effort to enrich Forest Park, Rev. Wm. Knappe and Stan Young researched sunken gardens. With the help of a government sponsored program, the Federal Civil Works Administration, they turned the drained Pond, which had become an unsightly trash dump, into a place of beauty. Rev. Knappe and Mr. Young visited Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Alabama and were inspired to use a smaller version of their water feature complete with a rill and reflecting pool constructed of local stone as the point of interest.
Over the years park employees and concerned citizens have enhanced and maintained the Memorial Sunken Garden. In 2002, park employees replaced two thirds of the terracing as the original stone had disintegrated. Trees which had been planted around the area had died and had been removed. The Shelbyville Garden Club started their renovation in 2009, and it continues under the Garden Club's sister organization, Friends of the Shelbyville Sunken Garden. With this spirit in mind, Friends of the Shelbyville Sunken Garden extends to you an invitation to involve yourself in this project. If you would like to donate please see our Donations page, or if you would like to Volunteer or become a Friend of the Garden, please fill out the form on our Contact page.