The Grotto gardens are a historic jewel begun by Civil War veterans living at the “Soldiers Home” now the Dayton VA Medical Center. The gardens became a destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors annually in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Over the past several decades, they became lost and overgrown. In 2013 the Montgomery County Master Gardener volunteers, in partnership with the American Veterans Heritage Center and the Veterans Administrations, began the restoration of the gardens and they are gradually coming to life.
A memorial tree program and the generosity of individuals, organizations and garden centers provided the funds to restore the various gardens in the painting. Since the dedication program of the memorial trees and the gardens in the summer of 2014, interest in the gardens has blossomed. Several new gardens were created in 2015 and more are each year since..
The addition of a fountain in the lake shown in the lower left hand corner of the painting replicates the fountain that was in the original gardens. The fountain was installed in April 2015 and was funded by the generous donations of several individuals and organizations. The fountain dedication at the Grotto on June 17, 2016. was open to the public.
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