Tulsa's most popular horticultural attraction is located at 21st Street and Peoria in the heart of historic Mapleridge. In 1909 the isolated tract of land, accessible only by wagon trails, was condemned by the city for a park site. At that time it was considered "too far out in the country" and early Tulsans considered the purchase price of $100 per acre a foolish move and doubted that the 45-acre site would ever be a valuable asset.
Known as the Perryman's Pasture, it had earlier been a portion of a 160-acre allotment given to Helen Woodward, a Creek Indian, by the Five Civilized Tribes Indian Commission. In 1909 the City of Tulsa acquired the property from Hellen's father, Herbert E Woodward. Hellen was a minor, age fourteen, when the land deal was made. Herbert had acted as her guardian and sold the property without her consent. In 1925 Hellen Woodward Slemp (Mrs. S. H. Slemp) decided to test the sale of her allotment. It became the subject of litigation in the Oklahoma Supreme Court. After four years of court battle, Mrs. Slemp lost her case to the City of Tulsa.
Today the 45-acre park boasts a wide variety of horticultural delights, including rock gardens, an English herb garden, a terraced Italian Renaissance rose garden, a Victorian conservatory (Lord and Burnham), a three-acre arboretum and an azalea garden with over 15,000 azaleas. The park provides a haven for citizens and visitors alike.
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