Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Summary of Northwest Rose Historians’ accomplishments during 2011 and 2012

Eugene Masonic Cemetery, Eugene, Oregon

Eugene Masonic Cemetery, Eugene, Oregon

After a long hiatus we are finally updating a two-year whirlwind of rose preservation efforts.  We have worked with many rose friends on various projects, and are thrilled to have so many great things and accomplishments to report.  Please accept our apologies for not keeping up with the blog as originally intended.  Our New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to stay in touch with our readers through regular postings.  The following is a summary of recent accomplishments:

Northwest Heritage Rose Registry  The Rose Registry is an honor roll of roses that have come our attention.  The roses are deserving of recognition for a part they play in lives and communities of the Northwest region.  The Registry is  “official” in the sense that we present a certificate of recognition, research and preserve the stories, and when possible, plant a cutting from the rose in a public location.  Currently, eleven roses are on the list and we have had eight plantings.  Upcoming posts will relate the fascinating journey of each rose and how its unique story weaves into the cultural fabric of history and landscape of place.  Please contact us if you, or someone you know, would like to share their rose and story with us.

Knighted by the Royal Rosarians  Two members of NWRH were honored in June, 2012, for heritage rose preservation efforts.  Honorary Knights of Rosaria, Dame Laura and Dame Kathleen wear their beautiful medals with deep appreciation for this meaningful recognition.  The Royal Rosarians are the official ambassadors of the City of Portland and the Portland Rose Festival.  For more than 100 years, Royal Rosarians have been honoring the legacy of tradition with rich pageantry and ceremonies from the mythical realm of Rosaria.  They are internationally known for their dashing white suits and love of roses.

Mary Drain Albro     1876 - 1962

Mary Drain Albro
1876 – 1962

Mary Drain Albro    NWRH follows the pioneer rose trail blazed by Mary Drain Albro and her Pioneer Rose Association. In the years 1936 through 1949, Ms. Albro was very active pursuing Oregon pioneer rose preservation work.  She left her personal papers and manuscript to Pacific University Library’s Special Collections, in Forest Grove, Oregon.  To honor her, NWRH placed a bronze plaque, and planted what Ms. Albro believed was the Mission Rose, at the Old College Hall on the University campus.  Joining us that day for the dedication and reception were seventeen Royal Rosarians and University President, Dr. Lesley Hallick.  NWRH was instrumental in honoring Mary Drain Albro on Portland’s Walk of the Heroines.  Her name is engraved on a granite panel and her biography is accessible through the online archive at Portland State University.  NWRH planted a Mission Rose and placed a commemorative sign at the Civic Center in Drain, Oregon, to recognize Ms. Albro’s pioneer rose preservation work.  Ms. Albro was a proud descendent of Charles Drain who was founder of the city, and an Oregon Trail Pioneer of 1852.  Mayor Sue Anderson made arrangements for the dedication.

Old College Hall, Pacific University, Forest Grove Oregon.  Rose Planting and Plaque Dedication, July 21, 2011

Old College Hall, Pacific University, Forest Grove Oregon. Rose Planting and Plaque Dedication, July 21, 2011

Father Schoener's Nutkana Rose growing in Eugene Masonic Cemetery, Eugene Oregon

Father Schoener’s Nutkana Rose growing in Eugene Masonic Cemetery, Eugene Oregon

French Prairie Heritage Rose Garden  The French Prairie Heritage Rose Garden is a new repository of old roses that had been cultivated on the French Prairie in the Willamette Valley prior to 1910.  NWRH received a request to help with this project and we are providing twenty-three roses with historic ties to the French Prairie community.  This spring the garden will be planted next to the  replica of a 1910 farmhouse on the campus of Antique Powerland Museum Association in Brooks, Oregon.  NWRH has raised $1,500.00 for the project so far.  Brooks Historical Society will use a portion of the donation to acquire photographs of rose hybridizer Fr. Schoener.  Fr. Schoener lived in Brooks between 1911-1915.  He became internationally known as Padre of the Roses for his prolific rose hybridization.  Only two roses from his vast collection are still known today.  Both of these roses will be planted in the garden, and a historical record of his work in Oregon will be available at Brooks Historical Society’s Depot Museum. To become involved with the French Prairie Heritage Rose Garden please contact us.

Philip Foster Farm Historic Rose Ramble  Gerri Morse has been collecting Clackamas County roses for 20 years.  After joining NWRH she became interested in tracking down the stories of these beautiful roses.  She also started planning a rose garden for Philip Foster Farm National Heritage Site in Eagle Creek, Oregon.  The roses will be planted in a rambling pattern throughout the property.  Gerri will be writing posts for the NWRH blog to keep our readers up-to-date on the progress of the garden.

Frilly Pink Rose in Gerri's Garden

Frilly Pink Rose in Gerri’s Garden

Presentations  Speaking of roses, on eleven occasions NWRH was asked to give presentations to community groups in the region.  The most unusual location was in the beautifully restored  Hope Abbey Mausoleum at Eugene Masonic Cemetery. The Egyptian Revival style building was designed by Ellis F. Lawrence in 1914. Eugene Masonic Cemetery is widely known for its abundance of old garden roses and natural approach to landscape maintenance.  The cutest location was the Historic Butteville Store in Aurora.  We were speakers for the Lunch & Learn Series sponsored by Friends of Historic Champoeg.  The store is one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in Oregon. The doors first opened in 1863!  The most rustic location was Philip Foster Farm in Eagle Creek, where we set up the projector in a lovely old barn with wood chips scattered across the ground.  The most elegant moment occurred at the State Capitol Museum in Olympia, Washington, when High Tea was served after our presentation.  Please contact us if your group is interested in learning about Northwest rose history.

La France Rose in honor of Mrs. Elizabeth Reynolds Lord was planted in the back garden of the Stae Capitol Museum In Olympia, Washington, May 14, 2011

In honor of Mrs. Elizabeth Reynolds Lord a La France Rose was planted in the back garden of the State Capitol Museum In Olympia, Washington, May 14, 2011

Published  We may have lost track, but NWRH was mentioned at least twenty-four times in various newsletters.  We were especially thrilled that an article written by NWRH was published in the Heritage Roses Group publication, The Rose Letter.

The Book  Our objective is to trace the history of the relationship between pioneers and roses in the Northwest region.  We are appreciative of the many people who have generously opened their personal archives to us.  Accumulating in our files are photographs, documents and historical accounts that provide a greater understanding of how early settlers and their descendents connect with roses in their family story and the larger community.  These stories will become even more important as time passes.  Please contact us if you, or someone you know, would like to share the story of their rose in our study.

End of the Oregon Trail Pioneer Rose Garden  The pioneer rose and vegetable garden on Abernathy Green in Oregon City was established by Erica Calkins in 1993 for the Oregon Provisional Government Sesquicentennial.  Over the ensuing decades the garden faced challenges, and is now cared for by Master Gardeners.  NWRH is assisting in a consulting capacity and we are locating some replacement roses, and additional pioneer roses to help restore the garden.  NWRH reorganized and cataloged Erica Calkins’ personal files that she had created during the development of her garden project.  The three file boxes are housed in the library of the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretative Center.

End of the Oregon Trail Pioneer Rose Garden
in Oregon City has many lovely Rosa Mundi roses.

Pioneer Rose Garden in Lone Fir Cemetery  NWRH has its roots in Lone Fir Cemetery and the cemetery is hallowed ground where one of our members will be buried someday.  Although we are no longer involved with the cemetery rose garden project we contributed to the effort by organizing a Wine & Roses fundraising event, and a Tea & Roses educational event.  Through our efforts more than $2,000.00 was raised for the rose garden restoration.

Pinterest  Our Pinterest addiction started out innocently enough:  a few select photographs from our archives were uploaded into relevant categories.  This quickly morphed into an array of all-things-roses from other pin boards.  Within days this magnificent and impressive array of finery digressed into anything in certain shades of pink, and roses were no longer a requirement for pinning.  After regrouping, and many deletions, our pin boards are back on the rose track.  Although NWRH is about preserving old roses and their history, our Pinterest boards are predominately lifestyle inspiration for bringing the gracious and romantic beauty of roses into your home and garden.

Best Wishes for 2013

Best Wishes for 2013

Since we last checked in Northwest Roses Historians have been very busy in and out of the field.  We have spent thousands of hours driving back roads, combing old homesteads, and cemeteries searching for roses.  We are compiling mountains of archival research from dusty attics, libraries and historical societies.  Again, we apologize for not keeping up with the blog as originally planned, but we are off to a good start and promise to post more in 2013.  Happy New Year to all of you.  May your year be filled with the beauty of roses!