Lynchburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Carl Porter Cato Rose Collection
Through many years, he had salvaged cuttings or entire plants from some endangered situation and nurtured them back to health and maturity. When his own health began failing, however, he entrusted the roses to the care of two local rosarians. These same roses are grouped here as a reminder of the gentle man who studied each prickle, leaf and petiole, adored each blossom, and, more than anything, wanted to share his passion and their beauty with the world.
“Come into my garden…I want my roses to meet you.”
Achievements in the world of roses:
In 1975, Carl Cato was one of four original founders of the Heritage Roses Group, which is “a fellowship of those who care about Old Roses.” Others were Lily Shohan of New York, Miriam Wilkins of California, and Edith Schurr of Washington. Membership continues to have national appeal.
Cato was an early editor and printer of the Heritage Rose newsletter
In May 1975, Cato was first host of the National Heritage Rose Day which was held at his beloved Quaker Cemetery in Lynchburg.
Several rosarians, including Cato, were credited with the important re-discovery of the Musk Rose (Rosa mochata plena) and a Noisette rose thought to be Champney’s Pink Cluster, which led to their eventual re-introduction into commerce.
Cato established the Old Rose Collection at the Quaker Cemetery, Fort Avenue, Lynchburg. He was also the advisor for the restoration of the rose garden at the home of Harlem Renaissance Poet Anne Spencer, 1313 Pierce Street, Lynchburg; Mr. Elder’s Rose Garden off Monument Terrace, Lynchburg; and the Old Rose Collection along the rose wall in the Confederate section of this Old City Cemetery.
Rose cuttings taken by Cato are now flourishing in public and private gardens across the United States, including the National Arboretum Rose and Herb Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Huntington Botanical Garden in Pasadena, California.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Horticulture & Forestry . In addition, it is included in the Quakerism ⛪ series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1975.
Location. 37° 24.947′ N, 79° 9.47′ W. Marker is in Lynchburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Taylor Street and 4th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 401 Taylor Street, Lynchburg VA 24501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sinister Activities (within shouting distance of this marker); Pest House Medical Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Old City Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Brick Wall (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Old City Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Gravestone Style & Material (within shouting distance of this marker); Julia Whiteley Branch (within shouting distance of this marker); Ancient Sugar Maple Tree (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lynchburg.
Also see . . . Horticulture & Wildlife in the Old City Cemetery - Roses. The oldest public cemetery in Virginia still in use today - Central Virginia's most unique public garden. (Submitted on May 30, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 30, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 638 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 30, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.