The following history of Semmes First Baptist was written in 1997 by Marian Savell Howell in the first Semmes History Book the SCRAPBOOK OF MEMORIES.
A Tea was given by Semmes Heritage Park to honor the Camellia Maids for their service as good will ambassadors for Semmes Heritage Park aka as Alumni & Friends of Semmes School Inc.
CONGRATULATIONS to Camellia maid BLAIKNEY WALDROP. She was awarded a scholarship to assist with college pursuits by the Alumni & Friends of Semmes School Inc. (aka Semmes Heritage Park), Blaikney has faithfully served as a Camellia Maid for four years and has exemplified leadership, dedication, and responsibility, always going the extra mile. She also excelled academically being named #8 of the 2022 Top 10 MGM Seniors.
History of the Semmes Camellia Maids
Heritage Day began in 2003 as a community event to celebrate Semmes History. The MGM Azalea Trail Maids became a part of our celebration until 2011 when other responsibilities to Azalea Trail events limited their attendance. The Historical Mobile Preservation Society was contacted and the Mobile Belles came to act as greeters for Heritage Day in 2012. The idea was born that Semmes Heritage Park should have its own greeters. When the idea was presented to the members they agreed and the name Camellia Maids was chosen. Why?
Semmes is known for its nursery industry. In 1949 Semmes Camellia festival supported by local nurseries and Semmes School was begun. Camellia blooms were displayed along with camellia art, tablescapes, and landscapes and a play was held. The Camellia Festival was a yearly event until sometime after 1961.
The school presented a play with a royal court King and Queen, Maids, knights, pages who were selected to represent each grade. A theme was chosen for the entertainment of the court and each class participated in the play.
A fond memory that I have is the year the entertainment theme was children’s fairy tales. My class was chosen to portray the fairy tale Cinderella for the court. I was elected to be Cinderella.
In 2013 the Semmes Camellia Festival was begun again to celebrate Semmes Nursery History, present and past. There is no play, but we do have Camellia Maids.
Camellias are blooming everywhere. It is time for the Camellia Festival 2022, January 29th, 10 am till 2 pm held in the Semmes First Baptist Fellowship Hall and sponsored by Alumni & Friends of Semmes School, inc./ aka Semmes Heritage Park.
Semmes First Baptist began in the first school in Semmes , a log cabin built in 1872 on the townships sixteenth section of land.
This post is just a glimpse of the festivals of the past. Scrapbook of Memories 1997
In 1950 Jo Alice Blackwell was the queen of the Elementary Court. The King was William Brewer.
Preserving our History