The Germantown Museum

A project in the making

Enter Our Virtual Museum

In Times Past………..
By Andy Pouncey
June 29, 2006

Before we close on the history of the Germantown Charity Horse Show Association (GCHSA) and the Germantown Civic Club, let’s end with a few notes from the balance of the 20th Century and talk about C.O. Franklin Park’s future. 

 No one has ever been able to estimate the number of man/woman hours expended on the Horse Show.  All of the energy associated with the event could not be generated without the dedication of many individuals. 

 Individuals are dedicated to the GCHSA in varying degrees, but the show is dedicated to the sport.  In order to be successful, certain guidelines were engraved into the building stones:  (1) there is no show without exhibitors, therefore their comfort, accommodations and entertainment are of top priority; (2) there is no profit without generous contributors and sponsors, therefore every honor, acknowledgment and thanks should be given to these silent partners; and (3) there is no excitement without spectators, therefore the show must be entertaining, lively and on time.  There should be horses or exhibitions in the ring at all times – one class entering the ring as another leaves.  The third class must be called to the warm-up paddock as soon as the in-gate is closed.

 The City of Germantown has just entered into a long-term (25 years) lease agreement with the GCHSA for the continued use, management and operations of the approximately 12.8 acres of property currently referred to as the Germantown Charity Horse Show grounds and arena site.   

 The Germantown Civic Club (GCC) was founded in 1936 and was chartered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Tennessee in 1943.  The GCC, a co-founder of the Horse Show with the Oak Grove Saddle Club, has achieved a great number of accomplishments that have benefited the city.  Their members have been instrumental in almost every activity relative to the government of the city by serving on various public boards and commissions. 

 The GCC founded and published the Germantown News; procured the first railroad crossing signals for the city; founded the first Boy Scout Troop (No. 87); funded the construction of a building located at Germantown High School for use by the Boy Scouts, and many other projects.  GCC also funded the purchase of the land lying west of Melanie Smith Lane, known as C.O. Franklin Park, containing the Horse Show Arena and tennis courts, and the purchase of the land upon which the Joe Pickering Community Center is located.  Those tracts are now owned by the city.  In addition, GCC was instrumental in encouraging the City to purchase the land now known as Morgan Woods.

 Further, GCC purchased and now owns 8.296 acres of land lying contiguous to Melanie Smith Lane on the east.  This land is leased to the city for use of the Horse Show for staging the Horse Show and other important equestrian events.

 The GCC has just agreed to sell this parcel of property to the City and has generously agreed to donate the entire amount they receive for the purchase back to the City.  A portion of the funds will be used for the current renovation of the former library building in C.O. Franklin Park, to be known as The Germantown Community Library Regional History and Genealogy Center.  The Germantown Civic Club Courtyard will soon be built and join the Joe Pickering Community Center and this new library center.

 With the balance of the money, the Germantown Civic Club Library Endowment Fund will be established to support the Germantown Community Library in the collection, preservation and presentation of the books, materials and other memorabilia relative to the history of the city and surrounding areas and their inhabitants, and to promote greater appreciation and understanding of such history by the public.  The building will also serve as the depository for the collection of books and materials of the Tennessee Genealogical Society. 

 The heritage of the Germantown Charity Horse Show Association and the Germantown Civic Club is to support activities and charitable endeavors that enrich our lives as citizens of the city and surrounding areas.  We cannot say thank you enough for their leadership in the development of our city.
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