This year, on April 24, the Signal Mountain Community Guild will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its annual Dogwood Luncheon and Woman of the Year award. This event will take place at the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club.
Founded in 1928, the Signal Mountain Community Guild is the mountain’s oldest organization. Almost 100 years ago, a group of women gathered after church to form an active group to better the community. They decided to help the people who needed it the most, as well as educate other women in different skills. Members of the SMCG continue to volunteer their service to community enrichment and preservation of human and natural resources.
If you ever wonder why this luncheon is called the Dogwood Luncheon, here is a bit of history. The planting of the dogwoods and the beautification of the mountain was born one Sunday morning in April 1928. A couple of neighbors on James Boulevard were trying to listen to a radio sermon from one of the Chattanooga pulpits, but radios in that era were not very reliable, and they couldn’t hear the sermon at all. Their conversation moved to other subjects, and while they were chatting, they noticed a beautiful dogwood in full bloom outside of their window. Mesmerized by such natural beauty, they decided to ask residents on that block to plant several dogwoods on their lawns.
Before the week was over, 30 new trees were planted. That street became a showcase to residents and visitors alike and was known as the “Avenue of Trees.” Postcards and pictures of the picturesque street were mailed out to friends everywhere. This small beginning grew into an organization with the purpose to beautify all of Signal Mountain and place Signal Mountain on the map by showcasing its natural beauty.
Our Signal Mountain Community Guild sponsored planting trees on a tremendous scale, and during this endeavor, the idea for the Dogwood Festival was born. It quickly turned into a celebration of spring, a celebration of the natural beauty of Signal. Guild members hosted “dog wood parties” to raise money to buy and plant dogwood trees. Through the efforts of the SMCG, 2,000 trees were planted the first couple of years. These ladies’ enthusiasm motivated other organizations in the beautification effort, and the town officials became involved, helping with resources and labor.
The Signal Mountain Community Guild began calling its annual luncheon meeting “The Dogwood Luncheon.” Along with that, the Guild established an award dedicated to a Signal Mountain Woman of the Year back 1969. This much-anticipated tradition has been maintained for 50 years and is still going strong. The special lady who receives this award goes above and beyond the call of duty. She routinely helps others without monetary compensation, unselfishly driven to make others’ lives better, solely for the satisfaction of it.
Come and celebrate this special anniversary and support the Signal Mountain Community Guild as we remember its legacy and significant journey in our beautiful community.
Tickets can be bought at Mountain Top Toys in Signal Mountain. Remember, all the funds we raise go back into our community and for scholarships.
See you all on April 24 at the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club!