Proud Of East Texas: Rose Museum

The 71st Annual Texas Rose Festival kicks off in Tyler this week and one of the favorite stops for visitors is the Rose Museum. The 7,500 square foot museum, located in the Rose Garden Building, is open year round, but is especially resplendent during the Rose Festival, when over ten thousand dozen roses ar added to its' decor.
The Museum, with its festival history and glorious hand-sewn jeweled gowns, developed long after the festival became internationally known. In many ways, it was inspired by a storage problem.
Before Tylerite Bart Fair came up with the idea of a museum, festival gowns, memorabilia and artifacts were stored in attics, under beds and at dry cleaners. Fair had worked at a local dry cleaners as a teenager and seen dozens of beautiful costumes stored there and all but forgotten. With the help of Tyler civic leaders and private donations, The Tyler Rose Museum opened in 1992. Rose gowns are now stored in climate controlled containers and shown in revolving displays every three months. Memorabilia and artifacts are no longer hidden away and forgotten.
Bart Fair didn't live to see his dream become a reality. He died of cancer in 1984. But the thousands of visitors to the Tyler Rose Museum each year are indebted to Fair for his dream and his efforts in making that dream come true.

Joan Hallmark KLTV 7 News