Dahlia Legacy Project

By the Federation of Northwest Dahlia Growers

Kitsap County Dahlia Society (KCDS)

History of the Kitsap County Dahlia Society

The Kitsap County Dahlia Society has been holding meetings continuously since its inception in 1923. At that time, the membership dues were fifty cents for adults and twenty-five cents for juniors. In 1925, under the guidance of President Henry Hatfield, KCDS became affiliated with the American Dahlia Society and held its first sanctioned dahlia show. The names of the winning blooms have been lost to time, but according to reporters covering the show for the Bremerton Press, “The show was a riot of color and a wilderness of beauty.”

ADS Reference Listed

The first ADS Bulletin reference to the Kitsap County Dahlia society was in the 1930 listing of registered officers. In 1930 Francis L Applegate, Secretary, and the society was listed as being in Port Orchard, Washington. The Society information lists the formation year as 1923, 7 years prior.

Dahlia Shows

As in the past, shows hosted by the Kitsap County Dahlia Society (KCDS) still awe the visitors as they gasp at the unbelievable beauty and color presented by the many blooms. Kitsap hosts the first show of the season in the Pacific Northwest, usually the first weekend of August. This year the society will be hosting its 97th show at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Silverdale, Washington.

The Federation of Northwest Dahlia Growers

In August of 2014 the Federation of Northwest Dahlia Growers, which includes KCDS, hosted the 48th annual American Dahlia Society National Show in Tacoma. Every year the National Show draws growers from all over the world.

The society has grown annually with the leadership of many members who have served as officers. KCDS has maintained a demonstration/club garden at the Silverdale Post Office since 1990. Recently the Society added gardens at the West Hills Post Office in Bremerton and at Port Gamble. The gardens provide tubers for the yearly tuber sale, which funds the annual show and other activities and provides education for their communities.

KCDS – Originators

There have been many Kitsap County Dahlia Society members who are known for their contributions to the dahlia world. The late Andy Babb is known to many for his work with the Trial Garden at Point Defiance Park and for his lasting originations such as Zing. He is honored by presentation of an annual award in his name at the KCDS annual show.
The originator of Hulin’s Carnival, Mr. J. Hulin, was involved in the society’s early years. J. Hulin developed a total of 8 varieties and Hulin’s Carnival is still listed in the 2022 Book.

Most recently there is the super team of David and Leone Smith. David and Leone are best known for their bloom Chimacum Topaz that has been grown around the world and a total of 35 varieties. David and Leone are now retired from dahlia hybridizing but still have 10 originations listed in the 2022 ADS Classification and Handbook of Dahlias.

Recently new members have joined the hybridizing fun. Drew & Wendy Brant – Seabeck; Eric & Janet Anderson – Sungate’s; Steve Lamb & Debra Pavich – AF, Agape & Lady; Mike and Sally Paulus – Goodrich; Penny Armstrong – GFF and Lonnie Kennedy – Wyoming.

Everyone in our club has an exciting common interest. We have a lot of fun growing and sharing our knowledge of dahlias. We know you will be an asset to KCDS and we welcome you to the Society!

Founded 1923
Location Kitsap County, WA
Show Location Kitsap County Fairgrounds; Silverdale, WA
President Paul Kusche
Vice-President Emily Goodstein
Recording Secretary Linda Rickaby
Co-Corresponding Secretaries Kristin Starin, Michael Lanning
Treasurer Wendy Brown
Trustees Pat Paulsen, Bob Overly, David Tonnessen
Federation Representative Paul Kusche
ADS Representative Eric Anderson
Website https://kitsapdahlias.org/
Public Gardens Bremerton Post Office, Silverdale, Port Gamble, Freee Grace Baptist Church
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