Eagle Archives, June 15, 1933: Works Gardener Keeps Light Points Tidy | History
Keeping the bright spots of the works shining is the job of Jim Ganley. Jim is the company’s gardener and his work can be seen everywhere. Flower gardens, lawns and shrubs fall under this expert eye and hand, and as a result, the work bears one of the most beautiful names of any plant in the business. Spotted here and there there are bits of flower gardens and lawns on plots of land not occupied by buildings or equipment of any kind and during the week Mr. Ganley can be found any day, looking after his loads with tender care and a skill developed by a life of gardening.
Know that Mr. Ganley is no ordinary gardener. No indeed! For 20+ years, he traveled for the famous home of the Manning Brothers of Boston overseeing the planning of countless large estates. Some of that big job included the TM Davis estate in Newport, RI, spanning eight acres and where Mr. Ganley stayed for three years. The succession of George Von Meyer, Secretary of the Navy under Theodore Roosevelt, and countless others has been carefully planned.
A native of County Sligo, Ireland, Mr. Ganley learned his trade in one of Ireland’s ancient estates.
He later went to Scotland and in 1890, May 28 to be exact, he sailed for the United States. Landed in Boston on June 8, he left to work at Tufts College where he looked after the gardens of many professors. It was then that he contacted Manning Brothers and spent 30 years with them. In 1913 he came to Berkshire County, settled in Richmond and that year entered the factory. He stopped his gardening for a while and worked in the Fan Motor department. After a while, the appeal returned through an invitation from a special committee appointed to beautify the grounds. So that’s when Mr. Ganley picked up his gardening tools and started doing more work than just a manufacturing plant.
The first plantings took place near the foundry and since then garden spots have grown all over the works. There is the lawn and shrubs just north of building 16, the lawn and flower bed just west of building 18 near the B&A tracks, the tulip bed near the works lab, the shrubs near of the scrap and salvage department, etc.
Mr. Ganley’s hobby is growing roses. At his home at 108 Brown Street, he has an American Beauty climbing rose that covers a 12-square-foot arbor. Mr. Ganley enjoys his job and although he can, no doubt, charge high prices for the work he does, he prefers the simple life.
This story within history is selected from the archives of Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.