The History of the Duluth Rose Garden

The History of the Duluth Rose Garden (HM1I98)

Location: Duluth, MN 55802 St. Louis County
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Country: United States of America
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N 46° 47.889', W 92° 4.818'

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Rose Tips from the Lake Superior Rose Society

The Duluth Rose Society in Leif Erikson Park initially began as a joint effort between the City and the Duluth Rose Society. First envisioned by Mrs. Ausma Klints, the community garden was created with the help of Mrs. Virginia Sellwood and Mrs. Sigrid Mitchell, whose fundraising efforts provided more than $100,000 used to establish the first rose garden. Out of this partnership the Duluth Rose Society was also established September 6, 1967. City employees dug the garden and installed the fountain, which had previously stood at the corner of Superior Street and London Road for watering thirsty horses. The first roses were planted in the spring of 1968 by the Duluth Rose Society. The garden grew to be a major attraction in Duluth drawing many thousands of visitors each year and was chosen to become a Public Display Garden by All American Rose Selections, Inc., in 1970. The Duluth Rose Society maintained the garden until 1986 when the City took over the management until 1989.
In the Fall of 1989 the roses were removed because of the impending Duluth I-35 Extension project. Many of the roses dug that fall can still be found in family gardens in Duluth. The fountain was stored for a future garden and the new I-35 forged ahead. An agreement between Federal, State and City officials gave Duluth the opportunity to restore the Rose Garden at its present site.
The park was built on a base of sand, fill and top soil 7 to 11 feet deep, over the I-35 tunnel, and is ½ acre larger because of a retaining wall built on the east side of the garden. Soil temperatures can be up to five degrees cooler over the freeway in the spring, slowing rose growth by about a week. The fountain was brought out of storage and reinstalled in the Rose Garden in 1994. Several benches from England were added, along with an Italian style Gazebo and a wrought iron fence. In the spring of 1994, the Rose Garden was planted by gardening crews from the City, with more than 2,000 rose bushes, and has become a thriving venture continually growing and changing. The City celebrated with a dedication ceremony of the Rose Garden at Leif Erikson Park on August 27, 1994.
Leif Erikson Park and gardens are managed by the City of Duluth. The Lake Superior Rose Society was formed following completion of the garden. The society assists the City with major projects in the Rose Garden including winterizing the roses in the fall, raising the roses in the spring, and pruning during the summer when the roses are in bloom.
The Rose Garden was again chosen to become a public display garden for All America Rose Selections, Inc. in 1997, receiving recognition because of the rose quality and the overall standard of excellence throughout the park. Visited by many Duluth citizens and travelers worldwide, the tradition of providing [illegible].
HM NumberHM1I98
Placed ByCity of Duluth
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, December 8th, 2014 at 9:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 570183 N 5183144
Decimal Degrees46.79815000, -92.08030000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 46° 47.889', W 92° 4.818'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds46° 47' 53.34" N, 92° 4' 49.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)218, 612
Closest Postal AddressAt or near The Lakewalk, Duluth MN 55802, US
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