It was originally called “the Club Seal and Bookplate.” It was to represent “The Maude Cady Warner Garden Library.” Mrs. Warner had been president of the club for ten years and brought the club into The Garden Club of America membership in 1923.
It was designed in a competition in the 1932-1933 years of The Fairfield Garden Club. The submission of one of its members, Ethel Turney Houghton Everett (1891-1985) was selected. Mrs. William Haywood Everett, who attended the Yale School of Fine Arts, was an artist and art teacher all of her life through her 90s.
The hand lettering of The Fairfield Garden Club’s name around the perimeter of the scene was created “with the assistance” of the renowned etcher John Taylor Arms. This collaboration is acknowledged and accurately cited in the William Dolan Fletcher book on the collected works of John Taylor Arms where the “Seal of The Fairfield Garden Club” is listed as Work 444 and dated 1937.
The vista frames a south view of Long Island Sound highlighted by beautiful, vase-shaped American elms. Given that the club was deeply concerned about Dutch elm disease since 1928, and planting American elms in many locations all through the 1930s, this central theme seems particularly significant.
The location is likely to be Sunnie-Holme on the left, the sixteen acre residence and gardens of Miss Annie Burr Jennings. On the right is likely to be the Old Burying Ground at 430 Beach Road cemetery south of the current Fairfield Museum along present day Beach Road. This area south of the cemetery prior to subsequent landfill was called “Wolf Swamp” in the original layout of the town’s squares by Roger Ludlow. This vista records the boundary between private property and the town historic green. But the real focal point in the distance is Long Island Sound.
The steel bookplate rediscovered in 2018 is rectangular and is presumed to be the original bookplate used by engravers. It is identical to the illustration in the John Taylor Arms book.