In 1899, a group of nine men gathered at the American Association of Nurserymen (AAN) Convention in Chicago and decided to organize a southern association for the explicit purpose of dealing with a serious freight issue. The nine charter members of SNA were:
Southern Nurserymen's Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, GA, 1916
N.W. Hale of Knoxville, Tennessee
J.C. Hale of Winchester, Tennessee
G.H. Miller of Rome, Georgia
Charles T. Smith of Concord, Georgia
Amos A. Newsom of Knoxville, Tennessee
John A. Shadow of Winchester, Tennessee
James Cureton of Austell, Georgia
H.H. Camp of Knoxville, Tennessee
W.A. Easterly of Cleveland, Tennessee
N.W. Hale served as the first President of the Southern Nurserymen's Association. A committee was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws, and a second meeting was held on the first Wednesday in August, 1899, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. About 50 nurserymen attended this meeting. It was apparent that there were two serious problems that threatened the very survival of the nursery business in the South. The first, of course, was the problem of unfavorable freight rates on shipments to the Northern and Midwestern markets. And the second was the lack of cooperation between various states and their inspection services and the fact that various states had different tag requirements and license fees. There was no reciprocity between states or regions. Thus, the Southern Nurserymen's Association was born out of a common concern for survival.
As a regional association, SNA works to advance the horticultural industry in the southeast by supporting and enhancing educational, commercial and research opportunities; by gathering, analyzing and disseminating information and by providing a marketplace to promote the exchange and sale of nursery stock and other allied products to our members, our SNA Participating State Associations and the industry.
SNA continues to work today to build a brighter future and ensure that you, as an industry professional, have access to all of the information and materials that are pertinent to you and your business.
If you're not an SNA member, we encourage you to take a look at the many benefits of joining our professional trade association. For as little as $125 annually, you can become a member of the Southern Nursery Association (SNA) – one of the oldest and most prestigious horticultural associations in North America!
If you would like more information about the history of SNA, take a look at our Commemorative History Book (1899 - 1999). Here's the History in four sections:
SNA History Book 1899-1999
The following sections are PDF downloads. Approximate file sizes are noted.
(approx. 9.9 MB, includes Table of Contents, Era of Survival, Era of the Trade Show, SNA Protective Association, SNA Research Conference, and Legislation through the Years)
(approx 15.2MB, includes SNA Awards and Presidents of SNA)
(approx 4.3MB, includes Past Presidents' Club, a Special Tribute to the Henegars, and the Future and beyond)
SNA History Archives Featured
As part of the SNA's 100 year anniversary in 1999, the association established an archive at the Cherokee Garden Library, located at the Atlanta History Center. Both records and photographs were included in this collection. The Cherokee Garden Library's Director, Staci Catron, said, "the Library is very much focused on history of southern gardens and having the archives of the SNA as part of our collections is a very important piece to our Library."
You can search the catalog, “Terminus,” and see all the records that pertain to the Southern Nursery Association. You will also see the Garden Library Board list and upcoming events.
Below are links for search indexes for the Southern Nursery Association Records (MSS 985) and the Southern Nursery Association Photographs (VIS 169) directly (which you will see links to from “Terminus” at the Inventory line), as well as for the Seed and Nursery Catalog Collection (MSS 988).
Any interested individuals can request to view portions of the SNA History Archive. Please contact the Library and allow adequate advance notice for the materials to be pulled for viewing. SNA would like to thank the Cherokee Garden Library and especially Staci Catron for their efforts to catalog and maintain these important parts to the SNA History!
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