The Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden is dedicated to the pioneering and frontier women who helped settle the State of Arizona. In essence, these women prepared the way for many others to make a life in Arizona.
The idea of a memorial rose garden began in 1938 when Evelyn Perkins, of the Perkins Ranch and a member of the Yavapai Cowbelles, proposed the establishment of a memorial rose garden be established on the grounds of the Sharlot Hall Museum. The Yavapai Cowbelles is an auxiliary to the Yavapai Cattle Growers Association. This women’s organization provides education about cattle growing and was formed to promote friendly, social relations among cattle ranchers and to cooperate for the best interest of the cattle industry, community and country.
Despite these efforts, nothing came to fruition regarding the garden until 1948 when Dorothy McMullen, President of the Prescott Garden Club, presented a design for the rose garden to the Sharlot Hall Museum staff and governing board. Once a design was agreed upon, members of the Prescott Garden Club began preparing, planting, and caring for the garden. The first memorial rose bushes were planted in March 1948 by the Yavapai Cowbelles.
In 1974, the garden was moved from its original site on the south side of the Governor’s Mansion to its present location on the north side of the Mansion on the Museum grounds. Originally, each woman was represented by a rose bush. Today, the entire garden stands for all the honored ladies, including Sharlot M. Hall.
In addition to an actual rose garden for museum guests to experience, in January 2016 a new Rose Garden kiosk exhibit opened in the Sharlot Hall building. This exhibit presents biographies and images of the many Rose Garden ladies, as well as a variety of interactive games for children.
The Sharlot Hall Museum Library & Archives also houses a Rose Garden collection (MS-39) that includes all the hardcopy nominations, research documentation, and photos of each lady represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden. Also, each woman’s completed biography and image is placed on this website. For some of the women, there may be additional biographical and genealogical information found within the Library & Archives holdings. Presently, more than 500 women have been honored, representing nearly all occupations and ethnic backgrounds.
To nominate a woman for the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden, all nominees must have lived in Arizona prior to Statehood Day, February 14, 1912. A brief biography and an image, if available, of the nominee are required. Also, a donation is requested to support the care of the garden and the Rose Garden Collection.
Please submit a Nomination Form for the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden along with the above items and any additional resources to the SHM Library & Archives via email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular email to:
Sharlot Hall Museum
Library & Archives
415 W. Gurley St.
Prescott, AZ 86301