top of page




A Harrisburg printer and member of Grace Church, J. Horace McFarland, became a driving force in the "Harrisburg-the City Beautiful" movement. In 1904, he was elected as head of the American Civic Association. At this time Harrisburg had an inadequate park system and no playgrounds. McFarland worked with others to bring modern improvements to Harrisburg. Without him, many of the beautiful city assets would not exist, including Riverfront Park, Wildwood Park, Bellevue Park and the stunning park behind the Capital.


The original Rose Garden was laid out on the grounds of the Harrisburg Polyclinic Hospital facing Third Street with reflecting pools, statuary and beds of roses. Due to the need for parking and extending of it's building, it was decided to remove the Rose Garden and move it to Grace Church.

Dr. Sheridan W. Bell, the pastor of Grace Church at that time and because Dr. J. Horace McFarland being a member of the Church, a Rosarian, active in the community, asked that the roses and plaque be moved to the ground in back of their parsonage.  (The parsonage is right beside the church and currently serves as the church offices.)

bottom of page