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Hazel E. Goodlett Collection

Identifier: 2009.006

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the minutes of the Amateur Garden Club, 1959-1982, and the Contemporary Book Club, 1943-2006. Club meeting schedules, officer rosters, thank-you notes, obituaries, leaves of absences/resignation letters, and photographs are also part of this collection.

The Hazel E. Goodlett collection documents the institutional history of the Amateur Garden Club and the Contemporary Book Club. The minute books are a rich source of local women's history from the early 1940's through mid-2000's. Members of the Contemporary Book Club were well-read and conversed on a multitude of topics, including World War II, Watergate, art history, and foreign travel. Several families over the years hosted foreign exchange students from places such as Denmark, New Zealand, and Sweden who presented slideshows of their native lands. Club members also showed their own films and photograph slides from trips to Africa, Europe, and Hawaii. The entertainment descriptions reveal culinary trends of the latter half of the twentieth century. Novel recipes, such as molded vegetable salad, hummingbird cake, and ambrosia, appear alongside more traditional offerings of pound cake and cheese straws. Photographs of members gathered at different hostesses' homes illustrate the changing domestic decor and fashion styles from 1954-1977. The literary works read by members also highlight popular literature over the decades.


  • 1943 - 2006

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

This collection of minute books was donated by Hazel E. Goodlett, wife of Collier W. Goodlett, Jr. An active member of the Contemporary Book Club, Hazel Goodlett held different offices multiple times over the years. These positions included president, vice president, secretary, and book-buying committee member. Goodlett's last noted position was as president for the 2005-2006 year. The Amateur Garden Club minutes belong to Mrs. Collier Goodlett, Sr. (Liz Tandy Goodlett), the mother-in-law of Hazel Goodlett.

Chartered in 1942, the Amateur Garden Club was a social organization in Clarksville, Tennessee. Monthly meetings were held at the homes of club members. Lectures and workshops on gardening topics, such as floral design and English-style gardens, were presented. Over the course of each year, members competed in contests and earned points for best floral arrangements. The Club went on outings to local gardening attractions, including Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville. The January 21, 1975 entry noted that a planned trip to Pinewood might be cancelled due to the gas crisis. In addition to field trips, the club members volunteered for charitable work like washing doll clothes for the Montgomery County Toy Drive and donated books (e.g. "Flower Arrangement") to the public library. Comprised of all females, the Amateur Garden Club hosted an annual husbands' dinner for their spouses.

Formed prior to May 1942, the Contemporary Book Club served as a social organization to read and discuss contemporary literature. According to the first entry in the 1944-1969 minute book, "the original secretary or record book of the Contemporary Book Club was misplaced on or about May, 1942." The Club rewrote its constitution on August 24, 1944.

Through the dues paid to the Club, a book-buying committee purchased books for members to read and report on over the course of the year. These books could then be checked out to members for up to two weeks. At each meeting, a member reviewed a book for the other club members. These meetings were held at a fellow member's house. The hostess prepared refreshments, such as a dessert or salad plate, coffee and cake, for everyone to enjoy during the social hour that followed the meeting. On September 25, 1947, members voted to serve light refreshments before meetings instead of during a seperate social hour.

The Contemporary Book Club met from the fall through the spring before adjourning for the summer. A formal business meeting and annual dinner occurred in May of each year to elect new officers. During this formal meeting, members also drew books to review for the upcoming year. The Woman's Club building served originally as the location for the annual dinner. This was fitting since the building housed the public library from approximately 1912 to 1958. Over the decades of the Contemporary Book Club's history, the annual dinner took place at a number of other venues, including the Montgomery Hotel, Sage Coach Inn, Garden Room of Hachland Hills, the Beef and Sea Resturant, the Stables, and the Clarksville Country Club.

In addition to being a literary group, the Contemporary Book Club often donated money to charitable causes, such as the School Milk Fund and the local library. The Club donated funds to the public library in the memory of deceased members. Thank-you notes and newspaper obituary clippings attached to the pages of the minutes document the aging membership of the Club. By the late 1990's, the records show a couple of members moving from their houses into condominiums. The Contemporary Book Club continued to meet through at least 2006 with the last full entry dated March 22, 2006.


2.17 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Hazel E. Goodlett Collection was donated by Hazel E. Goodlett in 2009. The collection contains four books of Amateur Garden Club and Contemporary Book Club minutes spanning from 1943 to 2006 as well as schedules, officer lists, obituaries, notecards, and photographs.


Arranged by material type.

Processing Information

All four minute books in the Hazel E. Goodlett Collection have been digitized. Each box is stored in its own archival enclosure. All documents originally clipped or taped to the pages of the minute books have been removed and placed in a seperate archival box. Black and white copies of photographs from the scrapbooks are in Box 5. Original photographs have been rehoused in the Archives Photograph Collection.

Hazel E. Goodlett Collection
Jenna Stout
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Montgomery County Archives Repository

350 Pageant Lane
Suite 101D
Clarksville Tennessee 30741 United States