Bowling Green Rose Society


Proudly affiliated
with the
American Rose Society


While the advice and information in this web site is believed to be true and accurate, neither the authors, officers, nor members can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may have been made. BGRS makes no warranty, expressed or implied with respect to the material contained herein.

    A Bit of History

2010 marks the 50th Anniversary of the organizational meeting of the Bowling Green Rose Society.  After several months of research an Anniversary Edition of Rosebuds was prepared by Mary Ann Hext.  Click here to read more about BGRS history.

On May 21, 2011, the Bowling Green Rose Society will hold their 49th rose show. The first show was held on September 30, 1961. Mr. and Mrs. Paris Pillion won Queen of the Show with Kaserine Auguste Victoria.

Alina Lane, Society Editor of the Park City Daily News, wrote a sterling article about the show. She reported that: “Twenty-four exhibitors placed 178 entries in the rose show Saturday which local and out-of-town judges termed ‘one of the loveliest shows they had ever seen.’ The guest register listed 175 guests from Bowling Green and surrounding areas who called between the hours of 1:00 and 8:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church.” This event, which was the first major effort by the newly formed Bowling Green Rose Society, remains to this day the largest annual event on the society’s calendar.

The effort to form a rose society in Bowling Green had begun at 7:30 p.m. on November 28, 1960, when a group of approximately 25 men and women met at Snell Hall on the Western Kentucky University Campus. These interested rose growers heard a talk on roses given by Mr. Charles Dawson of Louisville. (Ed. Note: Mr. Dawson was the author of “Uncle Charlie’s Corner,” a regular feature in The American Rose for a number of years.) Mr. Haywood Brown was chosen as temporary Chairman.

The first regular meeting of the new local society was convened on January 9, 1961, again in Snell Hall. Mr. Brown was elected the group’s first president. The treasury began with a balance of $29. As noted above, it was less than a year later that the first rose show was presented.

The original ten members enrolled at this first meeting were: Dr. T. O. Hall; Mrs. Earl Rabold; Mr. Claude Rose; Mr. Paris Pillion; Mrs. Richard Peete; Mrs. J. C. McCubbin; Mrs. Edith Kolair; Mrs. Opal Kirk; Mrs. Tena Borders; and Mrs. John Collet.

Some of this information came from a program presented to the Bowling Green Rose Society on September 10, 1994, by Jim Bennett and some from Paris Pillion, the only living charter member of the BGRS.


click to enlarge

Early photograph of BGRS members from the 1960s at the garden of Mr. & Mrs. Paris Pillion who are standing at the left.  Kneeling is Bill McMahon, leaning behind him is Pearle Rose, mother of Claude Rose (the photographer), Mr. and Mrs. Skip Henderson are standing, on their left side is an unknown woman, next is  O. L. Kirk is in plaid shirt and Mrs. Kirk is kneeling, then an unknown man, Dorothy McMahon is at far right.   (Photo  McMahons)


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Revised: November 12, 2012.