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Clintonville History -  History | Park of Roses | Street Names | Arch. Styles | Oldest Churches | Schools | Ravines | Columbus Zoo | Olentangy Park 

From Farm to Park: Whetstone Park of Roses

Whetstone Park, situated along the Olentangy River, is the largest of several parks in Clintonville. Before becoming a popular city park, the land was farmed by Lewis and Betsey Gay. The couple purchased the land from John Rathbone, the original owner under the United States Military Land grants, on November3, 1809.The land passed through several owners before it was inherited by Margaret Fuller. For many years, the Fullers enjoyed prosperity, raising and selling horses of all breeds. Margaret Fuller sold the land to the Miller family. In 1944, the administration of then Columbus Mayor James A. Rhodes purchased the 161 acre Miller farm for $75,000. On April 18, 1949, the land was establislied as a city of Columbus park and named Whetstone Park.

During World War II, more than 500 Victory Gardens were planted in the park. Money from the sale of the garden's fertilizer fund was used to help the Clintonville Community Council sponsor the first Fourth of July celebration. Whetstone Park was officially dedicated on Memorial Day, 1950. In 1952, 35 acres in the northern part of the park were set aside as the Columbus Park of Roses. In May of that year, Ray S. Deitz, Eugene A. Rosebrook, and George Tobey, Jr., of the Columbus Division of Parks and Forestry, began the original design. Planting began in the fall of 1952, and was completed in April 1953. The Rose Park opened to the public June 6, 1953 and was dedicated September 13, 1953.

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