Constance Knowles Draper Collection
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Constance Knowles Draper Collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Atlanta History Center
Creator: Draper, Constance Knowles, 1886-1976
Title: Constance Knowles Draper Collection
Dates: 1921-1939
Quantity: 0.75 linear ft.
Quantity: .75 cubic feet; including 165 photographs, 12 postcards, 3 glass plate negatives, 61 black and white negatives, 3 publications
Identification: ahc.MSS968

Biographical/Historical Note

Constance Knowles (1886-1976), daughter of Clarence and Frances "Fanny" Judah Knowles, was born in Atlanta 20 October 1886. Her prominent father made his mark in the insurance business and later became the first president of the Piedmont Driving Club. Constance Knowles began her education at Mrs. Mitchell’s Kindergarten. Afterwards, she attended the Prather Home School for Girls and then traveled to New York City to attend Veltin’s School for Girls. She completed her education at art schools in Paris, France. On 6 November 1915, Constance married fellow Atlantan, Jesse Draper, a well-known real estate broker and civic leader. Mr. Draper was a founder of the Atlanta Boys Clubs and later a catalyst for the development of Atlanta’s airport into a major aviation hub. In 1922, J. Neel Reid designed a home for Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Draper on Cherokee Road in the Peachtree Heights Park neighborhood of Atlanta (Job #468).

Constance Knowles Draper was one of the founding members of the Peachtree Garden Club in 1923 and served as the first chairperson of its Board of Directors. Later, she served as a book committee member and co-editor for the club’s heralded publication, Garden History of Georgia, 1733-1933. She also helped compile and edit a small publication called Garden Schedule in 1926. Constance Knowles Draper was also active in the Egleston Hospital Grounds Committee, the Atlanta Flower Show Association, and the Garden Club of America, for which she acted as a Fenwick Medal Judge at the New York International Flower Show for many years. She was also a partner in the firm of Edith Harrison (later Edith Henderson), landscape architect.

In 1945, Constance Knowles Draper spearheaded the effort to establish the Neel Reid Scholarship in Landscape Architecture at the University of Georgia. In 1971, Jesse Draper endowed a chair of landscape architecture at the University of Georgia’s School of Environmental Design in honor of his wife. Constance Knowles Draper died in Atlanta 20 March 1976.

Scope and Content Note

The Constance Knowles Draper Collection includes images of Mrs. Draper’s home and garden on Cherokee Road. The collection also contains Mrs. Draper’s lecture to the Peachtree Garden Club on Ferrell Gardens in LaGrange, Georgia. The bulk of the collection includes images of these gardens; Mrs. Draper used many of these in her Peachtree Garden Club lecture. In addition, the collection contains material documenting the landscape work that Edith Harrison and Constance Draper completed for Cason Callaway, as well as, material regarding the publication and sale of Garden History of Georgia, 1733-1933, the Peachtree Garden Club’s seminal work documenting the state’s historic gardens. The Peachtree Garden Club’s Garden Schedule is also included along with newspaper articles related to prime planting periods. Additional publications include Herb Journal and Garden Club of America, Annual Meeting, Atlanta, April 18, 19th, 20th 1932.

Note: Begun in 1841, Ferrell Gardens was the life’s work of Mrs. Sarah Coleman Ferrell. After the deaths of Mrs. Ferrell and her husband, Judge Blount Ferrell, Fuller Callaway purchased their 1500-acre estate, including the terraced boxwood parterre gardens, in 1912. Mr. Callaway maintained the gardens and commissioned the firm of Hentz and Reid to design a home, named Hills and Dales, to complement them.


This collection is arranged according to its original order.

Index Terms

Architecture, Domestic--Georgia--LaGrange
Architecture, Domestic--Southern States
Blue Springs (Harris County, Ga.)
Callaway, Cason J., (Cason Jewell), 1894-1961
Callaway, Cason J., (Cason Jewell), 1894-1961 -- Homes and haunts
Draper, Constance Knowles, 1886-1976 -- Homes and haunts
Draper, Jesse, 1887-1973 -- Homes and haunts
Edith Harrison and Constance Draper, Office of Landscape Architecture.
Ferrell Gardens (LaGrange, Ga.)
Garden Club of America.
Gardens--Georgia--Fulton County
Gardens--Georgia--Troup County
Henderson, Edith, 1911-
Historic buildings--Georgia
Peachtree Garden Club (Atlanta, Ga.)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[identification of item(s)], Constance Knowles Draper Collection, MSS 968, Cherokee Garden Library, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Marion McKellar, 1981 (CGL 1981.09).

Processing Information

Collection processed in 2007.


Restrictions on Access

Box 1 of this collection is open for research. Box 2 is restricted. Please see reference desk for assistance regarding Box 2 (Restricted).

Restrictions on Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Container List




11Photographs of Constance Draper’s house and gardens w/ handwritten notes on flower species and color (77), c. 1923
2 Garden Schedule, published by the Peachtree Garden Club and Garden Schedule, typewritten manuscript, 1926
3Newspaper Articles: "Mrs. Erwin Gives Gardeners Timely Advice for July Planting,""Mrs. Erwin’s Paper Will Interest All Horticulturists,""Mrs. Thomas Erwin Gives Advice to Horticulturists for August,""By the Light of the Moon," and "“What to Do in August,", 1 June 1928, undated
4Handwritten notes on historic gardens, undated
5Letter to Mrs. Jesse Draper from Edward Dougherty, 4 June 1921
6Lecture presented to the Peachtree Garden Club on Ferrell Gardens (2 typewritten copies; each indicates images used for the lecture), undated
7Photographs and postcard images of Ferrell Gardens that accompanied above-mentioned lecture; nos. 65 and 70 on the lecture notes are not identified; see folder 8 for images 50 and 59 (73 total photographs including some duplicates; 10 postcards), c. 1927
8Glass plate negatives of Ferrell Gardens (2 used in lecture; 1 not used), undated
9Images of Ferrell Gardens either not used in the Ferrell Gardens lecture or not identified as being used in the lecture (15 photographs, 2 postcards), undated
10Questionnaire for Georgia Gardens, Garden History of Georgia advance sale order form, and Garden History of Georgia notice of publication, undated
11Letter to Mr. Cason Callaway from Constance Draper; Detailed planting instructions for property of Cason J. Callaway, Blue Springs, Ga. by Edith Harrison, B. S., L. A., and Constance Draper, including a list of plant material for the property; List of plants purchased for Blue Springs; List of flowers possibly in bloom week of May 1st; and Bill to Mr. Cason Callaway from Draper and Harrison, 1937, undated
12 Garden Club of America, Annual Meeting, Atlanta, April 18th, 19th, 20th 1932 (list of members attending the annual meeting, list of hostesses for luncheons and dinners, program, and name tags including two for Mrs. Jesse Draper inside back sleeve), 1932
13 Herb Journal, Rosetta E. Clarkson, editor, vol. 1, no. 1 -vol. 3, no. 12, October 1936-December 1939



21Black and white negatives for the 3”x 4” and 3”x 5” photographs used in the Ferrell Gardens lecture (49) (there are no negatives for the 8”x10”photographs), undated
2Black and white negatives for the 3”x 5” photographs of Ferrell Gardens either not used in the lecture or not identified as being used in the lecture (12; 1 negative does not match any photographs in folder 10; negatives are not available for all of the photographs in folder 10), undated