A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 16, 2008
Rose Capital of America (Tyler nickname)

The city of Tyler has been called the “Rose Capital of America” since the 1920s and 1930s. A Tyler Rose Festival began in 1933, later renamed the Texas Rose Festival in 1936. About 20% of the commercial rose bushes in the United States come from the city of Tyler and Smith County.

Tyler is sometimes called the “Rose City,” but that nickname is more popularly used by Portland, Oregon.

Wikipedia: Tyler, Texas
Tyler is a city in and the county seat of Smith County, Texas in the United States. The city is named for President John Tyler in recognition of his support for Texas’s admission to the United States. The 2000 census recorded the city’s population to be 83,650, while in 2007 it was estimated to have reached 105,873. Tyler is the principal city of the Tyler Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Tyler-Jacksonville combined statistical area.

Tyler has been nicknamed the “Rose Capital of America” because of its large role in the rose-growing industry; about 20% of commercial rose bushes produced in the U.S. are grown in Tyler and Smith County and more than half of the rose bushes are packaged and shipped from the area. It boasts the nation’s largest municipal rose garden and hosts the Texas Rose Festival each October, which draws more than 100,000 spectators.

In 1985, the international Adopt-a-Highway movement originated in Tyler when, after appeals by local Texas Department of Transportation officials, the local Civitan chapter adopted a 2-mile (3-km) stretch of U.S. Highway 69. Tyler is also home to the Caldwell Zoo. 

Handbook of Texas Online
TYLER, TEXAS. Tyler, the county seat of Smith County, is one of the leading cities of East Texas. It is ninety-nine miles southeast of Dallas at the junctions of U.S. highways 69 and 271 and State highways 14, 31, 64, 110, and 155. The city was authorized on April 11, 1846, when the Texas legislature voted to establish Smith County and a corresponding county seat.
Despite the importance of the railroads, agriculture long remained the mainstay of the city’s economy. During the early twentieth century cotton was the leading cash crop, accounting for four-fifths of the agricultural income of the county. After the mid-1890s, however, truck farming and fruit orchards became increasingly important as cash crops. By 1900 there were more than one million fruit trees, mainly peach, in the county. When a peach blight wiped out much of the fruit industry, many farmers turned to growing roses, which proved ideally suited to the climate and soil of the Tyler area. By the 1920s the rose industry had developed into a major business, and by the 1940s more than half the U.S. supply of rose bushes was grown within ten miles of Tyler. The flourishing rose business gave rise to the Texas Rose Festival, which has become one of the city’s major attractions. 

Handbook of Texas Online
ROSE INDUSTRY. The rose-growing industry in Texas began during the middle to late 1800s in Smith County near Tyler. In 1879 the first recorded sale of rose plants occurred. Large-scale commercial production started in the early 1900s, and in 1917 the first train carload was shipped. Droughts, freezes, and disease had destroyed the area’s peach orchards, so the nurserymen were forced to turn to something else. The climate and sandy loams of Smith, Van Zandt, Gregg, Cherokee, Harrison, and Upshur counties proved excellent for this type of horticulture, and large-scale commercial rose growing centered there. In 1936 rose production amounted to approximately six million plants valued at $1 million; by 1945 the number had increased to between ten million and twenty million plants valued at $3.5 million. There were approximately 200 nurserymen, with 1,500 employees, growing roses commercially in 1945; Smith County produced 80 percent of the total crop. Tyler, nicknamed Rose Capital of the World, is home of the Texas Rose Festival every October, the peak of the blooming season.
In the early 1970s more than fifteen million rosebushes continued to be shipped annually from Texas throughout the United States. By the 1990s the rose industry had diminished in Texas. Out-of-state competition, along with unpredictable weather and some lost crops during the 1980s, contributed to the decrease in production. In the early 1990s the industry centered almost entirely in Smith County around the Tyler area; some growth was conducted in Van Zandt County. Fewer than fifty rose growers produced approximately eight to ten million rosebushes annually on approximately 800 to 1,000 acres. Texas still produced from 16 to 20 percent of the United States rose crop. The rose-processing industry continued to flourish, with sixteen million plants being processed for mass-market sales throughout the country.

Wikipedia: Texas Rose Festival
The Texas Rose Festival, a four-day event held annually in Tyler, Texas, celebrates the role of the rose-growing industry in the local economy. The festivities, taking place over a weekend during the peak of the rose season in October, draw thousands of tourists to the city each year.

The first Tyler Rose Festival was organized by Tyler Garden Club members, local rose growers and the Chamber of Commerce in October 1933; it was renamed the Texas Rose Festival during the Texas Centennial in 1936. Aside from the festival’s suspension during World War II, it has been an annual event.

The Rose Queen and her court
Many of the festival’s events center on the Rose Queen and her court, who wear lavish gowns and costumes that are often in keeping with the theme of the year’s festival. These participants generally come from wealthy backgrounds and often have long family histories with the festival; many have played various roles in the events since childhood. The queen and her court are chosen by the President of the Texas Rose Festival Association who works in the organization for 4 years before taking on the role as President.

In addition to the Rose Queen, the court includes:

. The Duchess of the Rose Growers, a member of a rose-growing family selected by and representing the Texas Rose Growers Association
. Out-of-town duchesses and escorts, sponsored by a family involved in the Rose Festival and invited because of relationships with Tyler residents
. Train bearers, scepter bearers and attendants to the queen, usually elementary-school-aged children whose families are involved in the festival

Tyler Convention and Visitors Homepage
America’s Rose Capital!

19 December 1929, Kerrville (TX) Mountain Sun, “Texas Farm News,” pg. 18, col. 1:
Tyler is one of the greatest shipping points of rose plants in the world. Shipments of rose plants from this point last year amounted to over 80 carloads, in addition to express shipments. Nurserymen from various points in the United States who have recently visited Tyler predict that that place is soon to become the rose capital of the world. The lands near Tyler are particularly adapted to rose culture.

2 October 1935, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 2, pg. 2:
Improved shipping methods have opened the possibilities of a commercial wonderland, so that Tyler has become a rose capital of an independent rose State.

22 September 1936, Amarillo (TX) Globe, pg. 7 photo caption:
Like visiting royalty of old, Tyler residents…

9 October 1937, Abilene (TX) Reporter-News, pg. 1, cols. 7-8:
Tyler Rises From Grime Of East Texas
Oil Field To Become Rose Capital of Today

2 January 1943, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 10, col. 1 ad:

OCLC WorldCat record
Tyler : in densely-populated East Texas : rose capital of the world.
Type:  Book; English
Publisher: [Tyler, Tex.? : s.n., ca. 1950]

27 February 1972, Danville (VA) Register, pg. 45 ad:

OLCL WorldCat record
Street map Tyler Texas
Type:  Map; English
Publisher: Tyler, TX : Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, ©1976.
Edition: Rev. 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984
Document Type: Map
Notes: Includes “East City Inset” and street index. Indexed for points of interest. On verso: “Smith County Area”, text, and col. ill.
Description: 1 map.
Other Titles: “Brochuremap Tyler, Texas : Rose Capital of America”
Responsibility: International Aerial Mapping Co.

Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73741332
Filing Date July 21, 1988
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition December 13, 1988
Registration Number 1528391
Registration Date March 7, 1989
Attorney of Record RONALD B. SEFRNA
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date September 11, 1995

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, June 16, 2008 • Permalink