Tower Hill: The first Twenty-Five Years
by John W. Trexler
Tower Hill: The First Twenty-five Years traces the metamorphosis of a venerable urban horticultural institution, the Worcester County Horticultural Society (WCHS) into Tower Hill Botanic Garden which opened in 1986. Located in Boylston, Massachusetts, Tower Hill was a radical departure from its horticultural antecedent, situated as it had been for nearly 150 years in downtown Worcester, historically a formidable manufacturing center with roots in colonial agriculture.
As the new Director of the WCHS, John Trexler arrived in 1984 to find a board looking at options but unsure of the best path forward. Their youthful “benign dictator” championed moving to the countryside and led an ambitious planning process with a fifty-year horizon. John collaborated with an inspired staff, a committed board and generous backers to create thirty acres of gardens. Translating creative ideas into action takes artistry as well as resilience and navigational savvy. That story is told here with eloquence, generosity to others, good humor and candor. Trexler’s memoir is a persuasive reminder that focus, patience and a long view can produce enduring results.
Tower Hill is available in our Research Collection [call number Cac T65 T72].