Quietly nestled at the corner of 21st Street and Bellevue Road is a true historic landmark: the home of the internationally recognized founder of the American Civic Association and modern-day American Rose Society, J. Horace McFarland (1859-1948). It was here on the original 2.4-acre "pie-shaped" lot that one of the most widely known gardens in America was established. The energies of McFarland in bringing national attention to Harrisburg's City Beautiful plan, in advancing the cause of scenic preservation and in working to establish the National Park System, was nurtured and renewed from this place, his home and his land. It was here that McFarland developed what would become one of the world's test gardens for the cultivation of new rose varieties, extensively photographed through early color glass plate processing and published with other seed catalogues and gardening books at his nearby Mount Pleasant Press at Mulberry and Crescent Streets. McFarland bought the property in 1909 from Louis Haehnlen whose father, Jacob, had built the Italianate-styled house in 1876 with surrounding vineyard from which the "Belle Vue Winery" would evolve. McFarland lived here, at Breeze Hill until his death after which his daughter Helen, who resided here until her passing in 1980, subdivided much of the original tract for the construction of three homes in the late 1950's. Breeze Hill, however, nobly stands today in its original form as a monument to McFarland's legacy in the creation of adjacent Bellevue Park and to the contribution which Harrisburg made as a leader in the Progressive Movement in the United States of the early 20th Century.
This 1910 view of Breeze Hill reveals that the house has changed little.
A view of one of McFarland's Breeze Hill orchards looking south-eastward toward Hillside Road.
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