Henry Shaw is the person who gave us the property that became Our Gorgeous Botanical Garden.
Henry Shaw was born in Sheffield, United Kingdom, July 24th,1800. He attended Mill Hill School in London as long as his parents could afford to send him. Then he traveled with his father for business.
Henry proved to be good at business and when challenges came up it was often Henry Shaw to the rescue.
Henry traveled from New Orleans to the little French Village of St. Louis in 1819. He decided to stay and establish a business of his own. Henry’s uncle, James Hoole, gave the support needed to start a hardware business. Henry Shaw turned out to be a great investment.
Henry Shaw died August 25th, 1889. He left a legacy of beauty, education and hope for everyone to enjoy.
His business outfitted pioneers traveling westward. By the time he was forty Henry Shaw was one of the largest landowners in St. Louis. He began to travel and explore his interest in botany.
In 1851, he commissioned George I. Barnett to build his homes. One of them is the “Tower Grove House,” pictured here.
Shaw dedicated land around his home toward the study of botany. The garden became so extensive He opened it to the public in 1859.
Our garden is one of my favorite places. I hope you have a chance to visit in person someday. People come from all over the world for research. Countless gatherings, classes, exhibits, cooking demonstrations are offered BUT, for me the best part is wandering the grounds, soaking in the beauty.
. One frigid afternoon, I zoomed from a college class in time to meet a lady with a passion for tree trunks. We were freezing, looking at variations in tree trunks. Trees have never looked the same to me. I do NOT recommend punishing yourself like that – BUT, I have developed a healthy respect for trees ever since.
“Shaw’s Garden” – Day Before Spring