The Antiquarian & Landmarks Society sends word that a rare rose still grows in the "pit house" behind its headquarters and museum, the Butler-McCook House on Main Street.
The house was built in 1782; the pit house (so called because it was built below ground level) was built in the 1850s "to house a rosa banksia or Banksia rose, given to Eliza Butler McCook in 1853 by relatives from the Carolinas," writes Natasha Vybornova, head of membership and publicity for the ALS. "Just slightly beyond its ideal climate, the Lady Banks rose still grows! It has a delicate canary yellow blossom, (is) thornless, and is said to have a violet perfume. It was brought from China to England in 1807 by botanist Robert Brown, who named it for Lady Banks."
She adds: "Anyone walking in the garden can see its yellow blossoms as the rose is growing out of the top of the pit house."
The Butler-McCook House, located at 396 Main St., was home to the same family for 189 years. Its now open to visitors year-round, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays from 1 to 4pm, and until 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children. For more information, visit the ALS website at www.hartnet.org/als.