This writeup provided by:
Rose Tree Inn
Museum & Gift Shop
Mr & Mrs. Burton Devere, Jr.
Tombstone, Arizona 85638
- See also:
- The Tombstone Rose
- by Jeri Jennings
- Our Trip to Tombstone!
- by Alan Zelhart
A postcard featuring the Rose
Tree Inn's famous arbor of
Lady Banks Rose
In spring, thousands of small white,
double roses are produced between
March and April
The massive trunk of the rose tree
Everything is 'Rosey' in Tombstone
The World's Largest Rose Tree
This Lady Banks Rose, the World's Largest Rose Tree,
will celebrate her 113th blooming season in April, 1998. The Rose Tree
is Tombstone's most famous 'Shady Lady'. She was planted in
Tombstone in 1885 and unlike the various gun-fighters who stayed a short time
and went on their way, she has remained, growing more beautiful with
the passing years.
The 'Town Too Tough to Die' was nearly done for in 1937 when
Robert Ripley of the famous Believe It or Not visited
Tombstone. He gave this Lady Banks Rose the title of the World's
Largest and to-date it has never been disputed. Guinness' Book of
World Records also lists her as the World's Largest.
The unbelievable spread of branches and blooms is supported by
pipes and posts and covers an area of over 8,000 square feet.
The trunk of the tree is approximately 12 feet in
How did this lovely lady come to be in Tombstone where the city
populace was known for planting men, not rose bushes?
Is was a young Scottish woman, Mary Gee, who was responsible.
Mary, the bride of a mining engineer who worked for the Old Guard
Mining Company, was staying at the Cochise House, while her own home
was being built. (The Cochise House is the former name of the
Rose Tree Inn). She was homesick for her native Scotland and
its green hills, Her family thought it would cheer her up
to have some part of her homeland with her and they sent her several
plants and cuttings, one of which was her favorite, the Lady Banks
During the time Mary and Henry Gee resided at the Cochise House,
Mary became great friends with the proprietress, Amelia Adamson.
When her shrubs arrived, Mary gave one to Amelia and
together they planted it in the back yard of the Cochise House.
It took root quickly and grew over a near-by shed. Eventually the
Cochise House was brought by J.H. and Ethel Macia, who never
suspected that their pretty Lady Banks Rose in the patio would
someday be the World's Largest Rose.
In 1965, the present owners turned the Inn into a museum which
depicts the life of Tombstone in the 1800s. The museum
attracts thousands of visitors; however, the main attraction is
the 'Shady lady' in the patio with her marvelous branches
screening out the bright sun and heat.
Plan to visit the World's Largest Rose Tree anytime of the
year - it offers a delightful relief from the summer heat.
The Rose Tree blooms just once a year, usually the buds start coming
out about the middle of March and it continues blooming through the
month of April. The Museum is located on the corner of Fourth
an Toughnut Streets, on block off the main street intersection of
Allen and Fourth. It is just one block north of the historic
Court House and within gunshot of the O.K. Corral. The
white Lady Banks Rose continues year after year to bring pleasure
and awe to people from around the world.
Admission is $2 per person. Children under 14 years enter
free when accompanied by an adult. For further information
contact the Rose Tree Inn at (520) 457-3326 or the
Chamber of Commerce.