The Niagara 1812 Legacy Council, in cooperation with the Niagara Parks Commission, Parks Canada, Old Fort Niagara, and its many other 1812 partners, is pleased to welcome the Treaty of Ghent Association from Ghent, Belgium, to the Niagara region from July 15-17.
In 1814, a single rose became the symbol of the Ghent Peace Treaty. The four diplomats, who signed the treaty that defined the border of Canada and the United States, each had a rose devoted to them; a fifth rose was called the Peace Treaty Rose. In the 200 years that followed, that variety of the Peace Treaty Rose was lost and forgotten.
Now, the organizers of the Ghent Peace Treaty commemorations, which kicked off earlier this spring, have joined forces with the City of Ghent Floralien Horticulture Association to make sure this rose finds a home in all three countries: Belgium, the U.S. and Canada.
A determination had to be made on what kind of rose was used originally, and then the rose had to be cultivated. An exchange of letters describing the rose was found in the archives at Floralien, which were written by John Adams, second U.S. president, according to Ghent Floralien Director Jan Oprins.
The association determined the approximate variety of the rose, and discovered a local grower had already developed a variety of striking similarity.
"It is slightly different in that it is more climate-resistant than was able to be developed 200 years ago," Oprins said.
A delegation of 22, led by Jan Briers, the governor of the Province of East-Flanders in Belgium, will plant these roses at the Belgium Embassy in Ottawa, then travel to the Niagara Frontier for plantings at Old Fort Erie and Queenston Heights, Ontario, Canada, and then to Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown.
The Niagara 1812 Legacy Council is pleased to welcome the delegation to Niagara and will have an official planting and reception at Queenston Heights Wednesday, July 16, at 12:30 p.m. They'll be joined by local dignitaries and 1812 committee members from across the region.
Following their visit to Niagara, the delegation will head to Washington, D.C., for a commemorative planting of the roses.
For more information about the delegation, visit www.treatyofghent.org.
The Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council is a binational not-for-profit organization established to commemorate the War of 1812 and celebrate the 200 years of peace between Canada and the U.S.