100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Postmarked June 10, 1912

In 1837 the first rose bush to reach the Pacific Northwest was brought around Cape Horn and presented to Anna Marian Pittman on the day she married missionary Jason Lee at Lee’s Mission near Champoeg. Anna was the first white woman to be married, give birth, die and be buried in Oregon. The mission was destroyed by fire and John Minto found the rose bush, dug it up and transplanted it to his land. Minto began distributing rose bush cuttings around Oregon. In 1888 the Portland Rose Society was founded to encourage amateurs to cultivate and exhibit roses, the oldest such group in the US. In 1889 the Rose Society held its first Rose Show in a tent. In 1904 the city’s first floral parade was held. In 1907 a group of 10 businessmen organized the first Portland Rose Festival.

The Portland Rose Festival is highlighted by horse drawn floats in the floral parade, rode bedecked automobiles, aquatic events in the harbor and fireworks at night. A king, Rex Oregonus, ruled over the festival. The identity of this king was kept secret, and he wore a huge beard to disguise himself until his identity was revealed at the festival’s annual ball. The 1912 Portland Rose Festival featured aviator Silas Christofferson who flew off the top of the Multnomah Hotel in his Curtiss Pusher to nearby Pearson Field.

Silas Christofferson taking off from the Multomah Hotel
June  1912

Poster for the 1912 Portland Rose Festival

Portland Rose Festival website : http://www.rosefestival.org/

This postcard postmarked June 10, 1912 shows women in the 1912 Portland Rose Festival floral parade.

Women in automobile decorated with roses for the Portland Rose Festival floral parade Portland, Oregon
June 1912
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One thought on “Postmarked June 10, 1912

  1. Great post! Love the idea of looking back, and the airplane caught my eye. Hard to imagine such daredevil stunts happening with the “boring” life of botany… Kinda wish we still had that 😉 I especially like this history because my town is home to Butchart Gardens, a family-run world-famous tourist attraction which features one of the largest collection of roses in Western Canada. Thanks for the post!

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