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Portland the Rose City

Portland the Rose City Event Button Museum
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Portland the Rose City button back Event Button Museum
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Blue text and an illustration of a pink rose on a white background

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The Portland Rose Society was founded n 1888, when Georgiana Burton Pittock invited acquaintances to display their roses in her garden. The “Madame Caroline Testout” rose became a hit in Portland, and by the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial event, the city had 200 miles of streets bordered with roses. In 1915, hobbyist Jesse A. Currey convinced the city’s officials to create a test garden to preserve cultivars in danger of being destroyed in World War I in Europe. The garden was completed in 1924, and Currey served as the first curator until his death, in 1927. Other gardens and parks in the city feature roses prominently, including a garden dedicated to Gold Award roses. Frank Edwin Beach suggested the first annual Rose Festival, and is said to have given Portland the moniker, the “City of Roses.”


Portland Parks and Recreation. (2019). International Rose Test Garden: Washington Park. Retrieved from

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