English Garden, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville, FL
1896 - 1916

Thomas Meehan and Sons

Thomas Meehan immigrated to America from England in 1848. In 1853, he established a nursery and landscape gardening business, initially partnering with William Saunders, on three acres of land in Germantown, Pennsylvania, with a separate property in Ambler, Pennsylvania. Meehan’s three youngest sons, Thomas B., J. Franklin, and S. Mendelson, joined the business in 1896, forming Thomas Meehan and Sons. The nursery, the first of its kind to specialize in North American trees and shrubs rather than European varieties, would grow to 75 acres and eventually become one of the largest and most significant nurseries in the United States. After Meehan’s death in 1901 his sons continued the work of the firm, during which time many of their notable projects were conceived, including plans for a garden at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, New York, and the English Garden at the Cummer Museum of Art in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1916, the firm closed and the assets and business were divided between the three sons.