compiled by Columbian staff in 1989

Hulda Klager

Hulda Klager, a Woodland resident who died in 1960 at age 96, is remembered widely for her propagation of lilacs.

She grew many different varieties and named some for family, friends and neighbors.

Klager came to Woodland in 1877, but her infatuation with propagation did not start until 1905, when she read a book by Luther Burbank. She experimented with dahlias, apples and roses before finally devoting most of her time with lilacs.

The death of her husband, Frank, in 1922 caused her to consider giving up the lilac work, but a son encouraged her to continue.

The Columbia river flood of 1948 was another blow: It killed her lilacs and inundated her home. But people who owned variteties of Klager lilacs donated their clippings so she could start over.

Many organizations presented awards and gave special recongition to "The Lilac Lady" for her work. A Woodland history of 1958 mentioned that although Klager was 94, "she still gets around in her flowers, weather permitting."
Preservation of the Klager home and garden was made possible when Daisy Button Grotvik traded land she owned in Woodland Bottoms for the Klager property. Volunteers now maintain the old Klager home and gardens.

Many persons visit the home annually, with the peak during the Lilac Festival in the spring. The gardens are at 115 S. Pekin Rd. in Woodland.

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