Gallagher’s Park


One of the purposes of the Siuslaw Chapter was to establish a public, native rhododendron (macrophyllum) garden. In 1911, A.E. and Irene Gallagher donated land on the corner of Highway 126 and Spruce Street to the City of Florence for a park. In February 1974, Whalley Nursery of Troutdale, Oregon, donated 135 plants for the park. Chapter members took two days to dig up these plants, which were then transported to the future park by Oceanway Transport. They were temporarily put next to the Florence Water Tower in chips donated by Murphy Veneer. They weren't watered much and that summer many died or were stolen.

Then in March 1975, the first trails were marked out and the first rhododendrons planted. A Memorial Azalea Garden was planted at the main entrance of the park. The City of Florence has installed signs, a sprinkling system, and paved walkways. An advisory committee from the Rhododendron Society meets with City officials to discuss park needs and future development.

Today the Florence Garden Club maintains the perimeter of the Park and the Siuslaw Chapter maintains the interior. Gallagher Park is a long term, continuous project which the Rhododendron Society is committed to keeping for the enjoyment of the public.