Heathcote Nursery History

Preserving Heathcote’s House

Yesterday, Today, Together

Heathcote Botanical Gardens’ origins date back nearly 100 years to a nursery in Scarsdale, New York. What began as a tropical and exotic nursery in the 1930’s remains a cultural, educational resource today!

Today, Heathcote house serves as the center of activity for programming, research, volunteer engagement and a meeting space for community members to help fulfill our mission. It represents our past as well as our future.

Preserving our Heritage at Heathcote Botanical Gardens

Heathcote House 1960

Heathcote House circa 1960

At the heart of Heathcote is its historical house, now serving as administrative offices.

Built by the late Dr. J.E. Leininger during the height of Florida’s land boom in 1922, it later became home to the H.H. Willis family and followed by the Carlton family. Mollie and Jim Crimmins, owners of Heathcote Nursery, called it home for more than 30 years. OC “Pete” Peterson, helped orchestrate its move from Delaware Avenue to its current location at Savannah Road in 1967.
Heathcote Botanical Gardens Mission

Heathcote House 2018

Heathcote House 2018

This gabled-roof home, with its storied past is nearing its Centennial Anniversary and needs our help.

Time and technology have overtaken the electrical system, which is sorely out of date. Vital repairs are essential to maintain compliance of safety standards and to ensure insurance coverage.

Other electrical needs include replacing outdated wiring and the addition of ample capacity to meet the technology needs of the 21st century both in Heathcote House and around the Gardens.

A benefit of this outcome ensures that the Gardens remain illuminated for the 2018 Garden of Lights.

Other interior and exterior work continues, including painting and the completion of wood rot repair exacerbated by Hurricane Mathew and Irma. Additional funds raised will be dedicated to the continued improvement of Heathcote House.

 

This historical jewel is at the heart of our true purpose… education.

We invite you to support our Summer Appeal and help restore this critical component of our operations.

Funds raised will allow us to continue our work to improve this treasured home and ensure that the house, along with the Gardens, will be here for generations to come.

Your gift makes it possible for Heathcote to remain the center of education, inspiration and the enjoyment of this treasured green heart of our community.

We hope you will join us in supporting this vital appeal for the electrical, as well as restorative needs to maintain this treasured house! There is no gift too small.

For details on other ways to give, please contact Diane Kimes at 772-464-4672.
Thank you!

Founding women members: Jan Bals, Laura Baker, Gloria Moore, Norma Carsens, Peggy Berg

Heathcote’s Founding Women

The Founding Women Members

Jan Bals, Laura Baker, Gloria Moore, Norma Carsens, Peggy Berg

For Women’s History Month we are highlighting the important women who were the founding members of what we now know as Heathcote Botanical Gardens.

Originally a plant nursery on Heathcote Street in Scarsdale, New York, the business was transplanted to Florida and in 1960 moved from the original Florida location on West Orange Avenue to its current Fort Pierce site on Savannah Road by its owners Jim and Mollie Crimmins.

When the Crimmins retired, they put the property up for sale. A group of very determined ladies in a local garden club led by Gloria Moore, Chris Haynes, Jan Bals, Norma Carsens, Laura Baker, Gloria Rooks and Peggy Berg saw the unique beauty of the spot and worked hard to preserve it as a public botanical garden.

Heathcote Botanical Gardens, Inc. was incorporated in 1985 as a non-profit; and in 1986 the property was purchased with private donations raised by Heathcote Botanical Gardens, Inc., and grants from the state, county, and city.

Without these great women Heathcote Botanical Gardens would not be what it is today. The non-profit continues to maintain and operate the Gardens and carry forward its mission.