April 7 marks a milestone at Bellingrath Gardens and Home: It’s the 83rd anniversary of the day that Walter and Bessie Bellingrath opened the Gardens to the public for the first time.
In 1932, Mr. Bellingrath placed an ad in the Mobile Register, announcing that anyone who would like to see the spring Gardens could do so, free of charge, on April 7. More than 4,700 people arrived to tour the Gardens, then known as “Belle Camp.” The overwhelming response, which created one of the county’s worst traffic jams, led the Bellingraths to their decision to keep the Gardens open year round, beginning in 1934.
Bellingrath Gardens and Home is operated by the Bellingrath Gardens and Home Foundation, a charitable, not-for-profit organization. Bellingrath Gardens and Home is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the 65-acre garden and estate home of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath. For more information, visit www.bellingrath.org or call 251.973.2217. (Photo courtesy Bellingrath Gardens and Home)