What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “Tombstone?” Maybe it has something to do with the town being “too tough to die” or its legendary shootout. There are just many fascinating truths about the place. But who would expect that you’d find a beautiful and the world’s largest rose tree here? If you’ve always been fascinated with trees, you need to check out the Rose Tree Museum! Keep reading…
The Rose Tree Museum Will Exceed Your Expectations
What is all the hype about this museum?
Well, it’s not just a simple destination or a mere attraction. If you look at it from a completely different perspective, this place is also historical in the sense that it tells the story of Tombstone Arizona and the people who lived there. It narrates how one family stayed devoted for such a long time to a town they love and consider home. That devotion gave birth to the beautiful and largest rose tree in the world. It’s stunning. You will also appreciate it more because the place is dedicated to one of Tombstone’s oldest families.
Many visitors who have been to the Rose Tree Museum say that the artifacts from Tombstone’s past are all interesting. You can even take an unguided walk through the Rose Bush Inn, as well as on some other parts of the property.
Prepare to be speechless once you see the majestic rose tree! You will think of the years of history just by standing underneath it. Here’s a tip. Do not leave Tombstone without seeing this!
This Rose Tree Was Planted By Two Good Friends
The history of the world’s largest rose tree started in 1884. A young miner named Henry Gee and his bride Mary left Scotland bound for Tombstone, Arizona. They stayed at a Cochise boarding house until they were able to save up, and build a home. Mary, the bride, became really homesick and started missing Scotland. She quickly became friends with the woman who ran the boarding house for the Vizinia mining company. That woman was Amelia Adamson.
The next year, Mary received a large box from her family in Scotland which contained plants, bulbs and cuttings from the beautiful garden that she missed so much. Some of the cuttings from the garden include purple columbine, tulips, heather, daffodils, and several rooted cuttings of the White Lady Banksia rose that she had planted as a child. She gave one of the cuttings to Amelia as a sign of their friendship, and they planted it near the woodshed in the back patio of the boarding house. Surprisingly, this Scottish rose tree actually flourished in the Arizona desert. It is just like the love and friendship of the two women which blossomed over the years.
In 1920, James and Ethel Macia purchased the hotel. By this time, the rose tree was already huge so Mr. Macia just tore down the woodshed and devised a trellis system of wooden poles and metal pipes. This would ensure that the rose tree would still continue to grow. It will be known in the later years that this trellis was a perfect idea because it created a shady patio that hotel guests would enjoy.
The Enormity of the Rose Tree Attracted a Lot of Attention (Obviously)
Naturally, if you have a beautiful rose tree that continues to grow as years pass by, then you will see a lot of interested people. The rose tree certainly attracted a lot of curious people, one of which, was John Hix. He was the first to call it the World’s Largest Rose Tree in his column “Strange As It Seems” in 1933.
In 1936, the hotel was renamed “The Rose Tree Inn” to also take advantage of the beautiful rose tree in the back patio. In 1937, Robert Ripley stayed at the inn and was mesmerized by the girth of the trunk and the tree’s enormity. Who wouldn’t be amazed, right? The rose tree soon made its way to Robert Ripley’s widely syndicated column “Believe It or Not,” which made it even more famous.
After many years, the inn was converted into a private residence, but the owners kept the patio and backyard open to the public. To this day, the rose tree covers nearly 5000 square feet in the backyard of the Rose Tree Museum. Guests can look at it from an elevated viewing platform at the back of the yard. They can also sit and enjoy the tranquility of the patio. It is amazing.
Why The Rose Tree Museum is a Tombstone Must-Visit
We’re all about the violent yet interesting stories when we’re talking of Tombstone. This one’s a good breather, right? Thanks to the children and grandchildren of James H. Macia and Ethel Robertson Macia, many visitors are able to see the world’s largest rose tree. Their decision was made as a tribute to their pioneer parents and grandparents who helped settle this area. They say that even their descendants prefer to live in Tombstone today and preserve this unique and historical landmark.
Come here to find memorabilia from Tombstone’s early days and the Robertson – Macia family. You will also be amazed by the historical collections as well as dioramas of both the Lucky Cuss Mine and the Gunfight at the OK Corral. At the book shop, you will see a wide variety of interesting books on the history and culture of the local area.
The Rose Tree Museum is perfect for rose lovers, history junkies, or even individuals looking to visit an Insta-worthy place. It’s time to learn something about Tombstone life beyond the gunfight, and get to know one of the oldest families who made the place the “town too tough to die.”
The World’s Largest Rose Tree is Also ‘Tombstone’s Original Shady Lady’
It’s all about the shade. Proprietress Dorothy Devere nicknamed the rose tree “Tombstone’s Original Shady Lady.” This is because the tree is a sanctuary and provides a cool and shady place to take a break during your visit to Tombstone.
If you need any more reason to be amazed by this awesome tree, this tree has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records, and its status has never been challenged.
There’s a chance that you’ve lived in the city for many years and you don’t know this place. Well, you need to visit this hidden gem right away. The Rose Tree Museum is seriously a must-visit, and you’ll appreciate its beauty once you see it in front of you. Come during spring to see it in full bloom. The rose tree blooms for about six weeks in March and April. Anticipate a mesmerizing setting that is refreshing as it is dreamy. There is also an annual Rose Festival in April to celebrate the blooming of the original Shady Lady. Many rose lovers from around the world flock to the Rose Tree Museum to see the much-talked-about tree in all its splendor
Don’t worry. Even if you come during summer, you’ll find the rose tree still stunning for words. We’re not exaggerating when we say that you can just sit there and look at the rose tree for 30 minutes.
- From Sunday to Friday
11 am to 5 pm
10 am to 5:30 pm
Note: The blooming season starts during March and ends around April. To be more specific, the Rose Tree Museum indicates that the best season is from March 11 to April 29. You will be in awe of the White Lady Banksia Rose that is covered with clusters of miniature, white tea roses. In act, you will be able to smell the rose’s perfume in the breeze a block or two away.
Admission Fee: $5 per person.
Note: Children under 14 can enter free of charge if they are accompanied by an adult.
Location: 118 S. 4th St. Tombstone, Arizona (one block South of Historic Allen Street)
Can’t get enough of museums? You will have many fascinating discoveries when you visit any of these museums in Arizona. If you’re looking for a museum with free admission, check out this article!
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