Hatcher Through the Years
Josephine and Harold Hatcher retire to Spartanburg, South Carolina, from Indianapolis, Indiana, to be closer to family and enjoy the seasonal changes that make gardening a delightful endeavor. The Hatchers purchase a home with a small lot on Briarwood Road on the west side of town and see great potential among the tall pines, mature hardwoods, and bucolic streams.
Harold purchases three acres behind his lot and converts the worn-out cotton fields into usable garden land. The Hatchers spend most of their spare time filling eroded gullies, amending the soil, building paths and ponds, and planting over 10,000 trees, shrubs, and flowers.
As the garden continues to grow, members of the Spartanburg Men’s Garden Club, the Spartanburg Garden Club Council, Spartanburg Community College, and the Unitarian Universalist Church are intrigued by the Hatchers’ vision and began to volunteer their time and resources to support the garden’s development.
The Hatchers obtain additional adjacent property, and join their team of volunteers to establish trails, ponds, and additional foliage. They also add a gazebo, a wildflower garden, and new flower beds.
The Hatchers’ garden begins to attract attention as word spreads about this beautiful woodland sanctuary. The garden becomes a public haven for Spartanburg families to enjoy.
In 1987, at the age of 80, Harold gives the garden permanent protection by donating the property to The Spartanburg County Foundation. Ownership is transferred, a board is established, and 501(c)(3) non-profit status is acquired, thus assuring the garden’s continuity. The garden is officially named Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve with the Hatchers’ blessings.
As Josephine’s health becomes fragile, Harold continues to work in the garden every day, directing its progress with the addition of a gardening shed, pavilion area, and parking lot.
Josephine Hatcher succumbs to health problems and Harold restores the wildflower area in her honor.
Harold Hatcher passes away at the age of 96. The ashes of both Hatchers are scattered in the garden to which they have dedicated their hearts and lives.
The Hatchers’ creative vision continues to educate and inspire all who enter these gardens. Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve stands as a testament to the power of partnerships and the integrity of community support.