On February 4, 1955, 26 people met in San Antonio, Texas, to discuss organizing a local orchid society. With support from the American Orchid Society and a corporate charter from the State of Texas in hand, this fledgling group formally organized under the banner, Alamo Orchid Society. From 31 charter members, the Alamo Orchid Society grew and prospered.
In 1957, the Society held its first orchid exhibition at the Wolff and Marx department store in downtown San Antonio. The store provided a number of high-wheeled garden carts that were filled with orchid plants and displayed in the store’s windows. Other orchid plants in bloom were exhibited on sales counters on the first floor. Wolff and Marx advertised the exhibition extensively, and the crowds came. The store broke all sales records for the time of year, prompting Wolff and Marx to invite the Society back and underwrite all expenses for a “real” show.
The first AOS-sanctioned and judged show was held February 26, 1958, again at Wolff and Marx. Since the orchid displays had proven so popular with customers, the store requested displays on each of its seven floors. The judges had to ride the elevators repeatedly from one floor to another during the course of judging! Ultimately, the judges awarded three Awards of Merit and three Highly Commended Certificates at the show.
The Alamo Orchid Society continues to have AOS-sanction shows, usually one every eighteen months. It has also hosted eight SWROGA shows and three AOS Trustees meetings. The Society also participates in regional shows, where the growing talent of its members is evidenced by the gorgeous plants found in the Society’s displays, earning the Society several AOS trophies.