Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lena Johnson and Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden

Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden at Mallory Square commemorates the pioneering spirit and heroic folk from Key West's past. A unique and interesting way to share a community's history and it was the sculpture of Lena Johnson and her story that caught my attention. 

According to the plaque:

Lena Johnson made her living by baking cakes and making "pull candy" taffy. She lived in a frame dwelling on Division Street...In 1916, when the Boy Scout Troop needed a meeting place she gave them a small frame building at the rear of her property. At the scout meetings she provided cake and candy. 

In 1922, Scoutmaster Charles Sands wrote the National Boy Scout Headquarters asking if it was permissible to have a Scout Mother. The National headquarters replied there was no such title but they like the idea and were suggesting it to other Scout Troops. 

Lena also organised the Girl's Friendly Society which met twice a week to help introverts get over their bashfulness. She taught them how to bake, make candy and aided the girls in cultivating lasting friendships. In an era, when married women lost all separate legal identity and women were expected to marry and not work outside the home, Lena Johnson was able to support herself.....In 1927, Lena Johnson was elected to the City Council....She died on March 24, 1932. 

1 comment:

  1. She sounds like a very caring woman Rae. If the her likeness is true to life I suspect she had a sense of humour too. The sculpture has portrayed with just a hint of a smile.