The Elizabethan Gardens is a living memorial to the men and women of the Roanoke Voyages (1584-1587) who attempted to colonize the new world. More than 500 plant species are found within its 10-acre site on the north end of Roanoke Island, adjacent to Waterside Theatre. The Shakespearean Herb Garden, the Queen's Rose Garden, and the formal sunken knot garden are some of the Garden's features. The Elizabethan Gardens is also home to an impressive collection of statuary including an enthralling Italian fountain in the formal garden and a larger-than-life bronze statue of Elizabeth I, the largest likeness of her in the world.The Elizabethan Gardens Records contain photographs, negatives, corres ... (more below)
Elizabethan Gardens Records
The Elizabethan Gardens is a living memorial to the men and women of the Roanoke Voyages (1584-1587) who attempted to colonize the new world. More than 500 plant species are found within its 10-acre site on the north end of Roanoke Island, adjacent to Waterside Theatre. The Shakespearean Herb Garden, the Queen's Rose Garden, and the formal sunken knot garden are some of the Garden's features. The Elizabethan Gardens is also home to an impressive collection of statuary including an enthralling Italian fountain in the formal garden and a larger-than-life bronze statue of Elizabeth I, the largest likeness of her in the world.The Elizabethan Gardens Records contain photographs, negatives, correspondence, meeting minutes, financial documents, bylaws and other organizational papers dealing with The Elizabethan Gardens and its history.
Elizabethan Gardens (Roanoke Island, N.C.)
Outer Banks History Center
Available for research.
Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.
Processed by Ashley Hoover, 2005 and Kelly R. Grimm, 2009
Encoded by Kelly R. Grimm, November, 2009
Revised by Karen Lisbeth Schurr, 2014
There is a folder of separated materials located in Map Drawer 32 that contains blueprints of the maintenance building, entrance pavilion, water gate, and planting plans. There are also studies of the gazebo, for an entrance sign, and a rough sketch for an aquatic garden as well. There are also 2 VHS tapes located in the media drawers in the stack room.
The idea for The Elizabethan Gardens was conceived on a summer night in 1950 after Sir Evelyn Wrench, founder of the English Speaking Union, attended a performance of The Lost Colony drama. During a tour of Roanoke Island, he suggested to his hostesses, philanthropist Ruth Coltraine Cannon and author Inglis Fletcher, that a garden to memorialize the colonists would be a worthy tribute. The plan was presented at the annual meeting of the Garden Club of North Carolina in 1951. The organization voted to build such a garden on property leased for ninety-nine years from the Roanoke Island Historical Association. Construction began in June 1953 at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island, where Sir Walter Raleigh's colonists are thought to have landed upon arrival in the New World. The original plan was for the garden to cost $10,000, one dollar per member of the Garden Club of North Carolina.
The construction firm of E.W. Reinecke from Fayetteville was selected to construct The Elizabethan Gardens. The original plan consisted of two acres, with a construction estimate of $10,000. That same year, however, a fantastic gift of ancientItalian statuary from the John Hay Whitney estate would forever alter the face of The Gardens. Whitney had acquired a significant amount of antique statuary from his father's estate and was planning to donate it to the Museum of Art in New York. Reincke, who was revamping Whitney's estate, saw the opportunity for the Gardens to have this stunning collection. Reinecke was married to a Garden Club member, and told the chairwomen about Whitney's statuary. Whitney was persuaded to donate the $100,000 collection to the Garden Club in 1953. The original plans were revised to include 10 acres with construction costing $250,000.
Renowned landscape architects Umberto Innocenti and Richard K. Webel were hired to design the garden. Innocenti and Webel altered the original plans to create a more meaningful space. Their plan was to create a garden that celebrated and honored the colonists and showed off their Elizabethan and English roots through plant life and design. They created an Elizabethan pleasure garden, one that the Queen and colonists would have appreciated in their day. Enlisting the help of local resident Louis Midgette, Webel and Innocenti were able to carry out their vision. Though the architects created the design, they relied heavily on the expertise of Midgette for local plants. Construction of the gardens was completed in 1960, with a formal opening on August 18th, the 373rd anniversary of the birth of Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents to be born in America. Some of the Garden's highlights are a 16th-century style gazebo with a thatched roof, a marble statue of Virginia Dare, a sunken garden with an Italian fountain as the central focal point, the Shakespearean Herb Garden and the Queen's Rose Garden.
Formerly classified as 33MSS-70
[Identification of item], ORG.5070, The Elizabethan Gardens Records, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, N.C., U.S.A.
Donated by The Elizabethan Gardens.
The Elizabethan Gardens Records contain blueprints, correspondence, meeting minutes, ephemera, newspaper clippings, photographs and information pertaining to the history of The Elizabethan Gardens. Also in this collection is information relating to the Historic Albemarle Tour, Dare County Tourist Bureau, The Lost Colony drama, Tryon Palace, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, and Rosemary House.