Leslie Wagner, Historian

The number of visitors that have visited our History Center in the past two years has been over 1,600.  With the sheer number of children exploring the exhibits, the new displays for this year will have a theme of education at The Dawes Arboretum.  Education has always been a focus of The Arboretum with a quote from our deed of trust:  “…To encourage the planting of forest and ornamental trees and to demonstrate the value of the different varieties of trees for these purposes… in order to give pleasure to the public and education to the youth; and to increase the general knowledge and love of trees and shrubs.”


Traditional exhibits will still inhabit the space, but there will be more of an interactive component for our younger audience.  On one side of the center, exhibits related to the history of education at Dawes will start with our cofounders Beman and Bertie Dawes.  Next, a display about the former Brumback one room schoolhouse located in the north end of The Arboretum.  Finally, a display of the scout troops that used The Arboretum for camping, the Lakewood School 5th grade program and Tree Dedications children have either attended or took part in dedicating.

The other side of the center has school desks for history, education, horticulture and conservation with activity sheets the entire family can do while on our grounds.  A library table includes two sets of headphones that will play oral histories of former students and teachers of the Brumback school and Lakewood 5th grade program.  

The History Center will debut on our Arbor Day event on April 30th from noon to 3 pm.  Normal hours are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from May through October, open from noon to 3 pm.