Our history. Pt. Defiance’s history. Tacoma’s history.
Since 1911, We have been building the community
We try to shape Tacoma’s Future
The Point Defiance Park Rose Garden is part of the centerpiece of one of the great urban parks in the U.S. that encompasses an area of 700 acres overlooking Puget Sound and the famous Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Visitors are drawn to the park by its myriad attractions: a zoo, an aquarium, a small marina, hiking trails, old growth forests, spectacular Puget Sound viewpoints, and exceptional gardens dedicated to the plants that thrive in the region.
Roses in Point Defiance Park date back to the very founding of the park and have always been a central feature of it. The first superintendent of the park, E. R. Roberts, once put out an appeal to Tacoma students in 1895 to bring rose cuttings from their homes to be rooted and planted in the park. The newspapers of the day report that the number of cuttings exceeded 100,000 of more than 60 varieties.
The Tacoma Rose Society, founded in 1911, and the Pt. Defiance Rose Garden, planted in 1912, have grown up together. Leaders of the Rose Society even served as elected members of the Metropolitan Park Board during these early years. Those tenures were among our first community service projects.
We can attest to the fact that more than 109 years later each summer thousands of visitors continue to wander among the 2500 bushes that is the Pt. Defiance rose garden in “pleased wonder.”