A rags to riches story, Mr. T. W. Lee and his wife Helen had very little to their names when they were married. Determined, Lee found his way into the oil business during the East Texas oil boom, and they became wealthy. The couple purchased land outside of Gladewater and planned to use it for its gravel content in order to pave the roads, airport runway, and rodeo parking lot. Mr. Lee also established the town’s first newspaper and radio station.
Lee passed away in 1954 leaving his wife as his only namesake. Helen loved the land her husband had purchased. She bought adjoining land until the ranch was over 1,000 acres. She converted the gravel pits into a 5-acre lake and a 3-acre pond. Mrs. Lee purchased an entire boxcar load of daffodil bulbs from Holland and they were all planted with approximately 40 workers. She added a one-room pioneer log cabin replica in 1954 near the 3-acre pond.
Mrs. Lee passed away in July 1984, and at her request the garden was opened to the public in the spring, following her death. Since that time, thousands of visitors have traveled to Gladewater to enjoy Mrs. Lee’s Daffodil Garden.
Mrs. Lee’s Garden is an 816-acre tract of land that is drastically transformed every February and March with millions of golden daffodils, scattered over approximately 28 acres.
Visitors travel along a four-mile trail around two lakes, between wooded valleys, and around a replica pioneer log cabin when the daffodils are in bloom.
The garden opens, depending on Mother Nature, around the middle of February and remains open through March or until the daffodils are no longer in bloom. The garden’s ability to open depends upon two things:
- Road conditions- it is closed when the roads are wet.
- The garden’s future ability to remain open depends upon the number of people who visit and register their attendance.
- 10 A. M. to 4 P. M. seven days a week during blooming season, roughly mid-February through the end of March.
Free- Donations accepted
Call ahead for updates about the blooming season at (903)845-5780.
Read more about Mrs. Lee’s Daffodil Garden.