Back in time to March 27, 1970

The issue of The Daily Evening Item detailing Cilley’s dominance. Photo by Item Archives

Living in the Boston area, we have certainly seen our fair share of dynasties, from the Patriots’ seven Super Bowls this century, to the dominance of the ’80s Celtics. But did you know that a Marblehead flower dynasty was born more than five decades ago?

A Thursday, March 27, 1970 edition of The Daily Evening Item highlighted Marblehead resident “Mrs. Homer R. Cilley” after she sweeped the nine awards given out at the New England Spring Garden and Flower Show at Suffolk Downs in East Boston.

“Every award available to skilled arrangers of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts has been won by Mrs. Homer R. Cilley of Marblehead,” the story read.

Her wins were highlighted by the Garden Club of America Zone l Silver Bowl for her entry in the Taste of Color class. Other wins included the John Taylor Arms Award and the Marie Hancock Cook Certificate of Merit. She also won the Award of Creativity and Tricolor Award three times each.

The article also notes that Cilley graduated from Vesper George Art School and previously served as president of the Arrangers of Marblehead, an organization with the purpose of creating “artistic arrangements of floral and decorative materials” and promoting “an interest in gardening, horticulture, conservation and allied activities through education, preservation, and community service.”

Three other members of the Arrangers were winners as well that year. “Mrs. Henry H. Hazen Jr.” and “Mrs. Richard D. Bowman” both won blue ribbon awards. Mrs. William H. Riley also won a blue ribbon for an entry in the Sight of the Ultimate class.

  • Ryan Vermette is the Item's Marblehead reporter. He graduated from Springfield College in 2021 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications/Sports Journalism. While in school, he wrote multiple sports articles for the school newspaper, the Springfield Student, and joined Essex Media Group in August, 2022. Ryan is a college basketball fanatic and an avid Boston sports fan and in his free time, enjoys video games and Marvel movies.