On August 6, Bellingrath Gardens and Home will celebrate Founder's Day, the 147th anniversary of Mr. Bellingrath's birthday, by offering cruises on Fowl River, conducted by Wild Native Delta Safaris. (The cruises will not be held in inclement weather.)
The Founder's Day tradition dates back to 1949, when Mr. Bellingrath invited local residents to come and enjoy the Gardens at no charge as part of his 80th birthday celebration. Walter D. Bellingrath, founder of Bellingrath Gardens and Home, was born in Atlanta on August 6, 1869, and died in 1955 at the age of 86.
Another milestone in August is the 65th anniversary of the installation of the Monolith, the three-sided marker at the heart of the Gardens. In 1950, Walter Bellingrath ccontracted with McNeel Memorials of Marietta, Ga., to develop a memorial to tell the story of Bellingrath Gardens. The new Monolith was installed in August 1951, right before Mr. Bellingrath's 82nd birthday. According to an article appearing in the Mobile Register on Monday, August 6, 1951, an estimated 13,000 Mobilians had visited Bellingrath Gardens the previous day to honor Mr. Bellingrath and to get a view of the new Monolith. For more information, visit website.
Are required for the cruises, and fees are $9 for adults and $7 for ages 5-12; to make a reservation, call 251-973-2217. On Founder's Day, Gardens admission is free to residents of Mobile and Baldwin Counties. This year marks Bellingrath Gardens and Home's 80th Anniversary.