Oakland (and Piedmont's) Rose Garden

While taking a break from researching Piedmont, I started looking into the history of another beautiful park in our area, the Rose Garden (also known as Morcom Amphitheater of Roses, the Municipal Rose Garden and Linda Vista Park). While doing so, I came across an interesting article mentioning how Piedmont helped with the Linda Vista Park which made me even more interested in its history.


Before the Rose Garden today, there was another rose garden in Piedmont, called Rose Park:

In the 1890s, there was a man named Patrick Jeremiah Keller had a 7 acre nursery of roses and a place called Keller's Rose Park which was located in "Piedmont". If you search my site for his name you will find an article from the Oakland Tribune - Sun - Feb. 16, 1969, saying Piedmont and Piedmont Avenue in the late 1880s was still considered the Piedmont area. While Patrick Jeremiah Keller lived off of Piedmont Ave, he was called "The Mayor of Piedmont" and lead the "Piedmont Rangers".

Oakland Tribune - Mon - Jan. 14, 1895


Oakland Tribune - Sat - Dec. 19, 1891:

He began the business of nurseryman and florist, on the hill near the entrance to Mountain View Cemetery. About two years since be removed to his present location, a beautiful plot of about twelve acres, situated on the east side of Piedmont avenue, and north of Moss avenue.


This lovely spot is known as "Keller's Rose Park," taking its name from the fact that the wide awake owner has seven acres devoted to the culture of roses, of which he has 150 distinct varieties catalogued-all these being of the most superior grades, in fact he will not recommend any inferior grade of roses to his customers. At Keller's Rose Park roses bloom every day in the year. The location of the park is such that it enjoys the semi-tropical climate of the warm belt, is shaded from the winds by adjacent rising ground, and the natural soil is rich, fertile and perfectly adapted to the purposes of floriculture.



Maybe he was the inspiration for Rose Avenue in Piedmont and the Rose Garden near by?


Oakland Tribune - Tue - June 13, 1911:

CITIES TO JOIN IN PARK OWNERSHIP Oakland and Piedmont to Control Land Lying On Boundary Line.

Due to the efforts of Councilman Oliver Ellsworth, Piedmont will unite with Oakland in obtaining a park at Broadway (not sure about Broadway - possible mistake) and the boundary line of the two cities.

This park, for which the Oakland residents of the district have promised to contribute $8000, was petitioned for by the people of this territory.

The city promised to pay a portion of costs, if the residents would do their part. The best entrance to the park would be partially through territory in Piedmont, and as a result of explanations of the situation made by Councilman Ellsworth as to this the City Council of Piedmont passed resolutions to join with Oakland in the matter. Copies of the resolutions were forwarded to the City Council of Oakland and were read at last night's meeting. The resolutions follow

"Whereas, the City of Oakland has declared its intention of acquiring for park purposes that portion of the property known as the Stanford Tract, No. 2, bounded on the east by Pleasant Valley Tract and Olive avenue, part of which is situated in the city of Piedmont, and bounded on the northwest by Linda Vista Terrace, and on the southeast by Stanford tract, with an area of about eight acres, plus; and

"Whereas, to provide a proper, sufficient and handsome entrance to this tract at the northerly corner, which is situated in the city of Piedmont, it will be necessary for the city of Piedmont to acquire certain lots at the southern corner of Olive avenue and Oakland avenue; therefore "Be it resolved, that as a contribution toward the park property, to be provided for by the city of Oakland, the city of Piedmont hereby undertakes to acquire title to these certain lots at Olive and Oakland avenues, aforesaid, for park purposes." Certified to by F. J. Staiger, city clerk of the city of Piedmont.


Today the park has a small percentage of land owned by Piedmont:

Inspiration for the Rose Garden came from the Businessmen’s Garden Club, Dr. Charles Vernon Covell (president) and Arthur Cobbledick (club member and Landscape Architect), with color design from James Cobbledick (decorator) and Professor F.H. Meyer of the California School of Arts and Crafts.


Dentist Charles Vernon Covell lived at 148 Estates Drive in Piedmont according to his 1942 WW II draft card and is buried at the Mountain View Cemetery.


Oakland, CA April 26, 1936 - The third annual Rose Sunday was observed by 20,000 people at the Morcom Rose Garden to view the blooms and hear a concert.



I do not currently know how much Piedmont helps Oakland with the park but have emailed both Piedmont and Oakland asking and will update this page if I find out anything else about their current relationship with the park.


For more information about the history of the Rose Garden in Oakland and Piedmont, visit www.oaklandrose.com