f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Ten-Mile Garden

Posted Monday, September 27, 2010, at 7:30 AM

The 40th anniversary of the Cape Special Road District was marked with the publication of a booklet in 1952 dedicated to its civil engineer, Dennis M. Scivally. The road district established the Ten-Mile Garden between Cape Girardeau and Jackson. The picture was made by G.D. Fronabarger.

Here is an excerpt:

Ten-Mile Garden --a wonderland of color and fragrance in early summer when nearly 10,000 rose bushes burst into riotous bloom--has beauties to delight even the most casual motorist all the year 'round. Working with right-of-ways of 125 to 270 feet for the ten miles of Highway 61 between Cape Girardeau and Jackson, the Cape Special Road District began in 1931 one of the most extensive roadside development projects ever attempted. Through the years it has gained nationwide fame, and thousands of motorists have seen and enjoyed its beauty.

It was in 1931 that the Cape Special Road District, with the cooperation of the State Highway Department, started the development of the Ten-Mile Garden. Soon the modest beginning mushroomed, and service clubs and garden clubs, along with interested individuals, of both cities were clamoring to participate in the plantings. Thus the Ten-Mile Garden became truly a "people's project" in which everyone takes pride.

Besides the 10,000 roses, there are 1,317 evergreens and 14,000 other varieties of plants along the scenic route. Property owners along the Ten-Mile Garden, like those along Cape Rock Drive, take pride in their "front yard," and do all they can to add to its beauty.

Cape Special Road District, having established Ten-Mile Garden and carried it to a high stage of development, has since 1939 not participated to such a great extent in the further growth and maintenance of the route. Most of the work is now being done by the Missouri State Highway Department, carrying on the tradition of combining utility with beauty.

The Cape Special Road District also developed Cape Rock Drive.

Here is a picture of Dennis M. Scivally, circa 1957, and his professional background.


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  • Highway 61 between Cape and Jackson was a beautiful drive. It had the stretches of roses, then there would be tree-lined canopies that felt like riding through a tunnel. The nearest thing I can compare it to is Bloomfield Rd.

    Widening it wiped all that out, a necessary evil, but a shame.

    BTW, I just put together a piece on the history of the car in Cape (mostly, to be fair, stolen from old Missourians).


    July 9, 1906, Joe Wilson drove from Cape to Jackson in a record time of 25 minutes, "probably the shortest time in which the 10 miles had ever been traversed up to that time."

    Find out when the first car hit the street, when the first wreck was reported, when the first car was stolen and when the first funeral procession was held.

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Mon, Sep 27, 2010, at 7:55 AM
  • They wilted, Rick.

    -- Posted by voyager on Mon, Sep 27, 2010, at 12:53 PM
  • Readers Digest did an article on "Cape Girardeau, City of Roses" . I have the article but, unfortunately, not the whole magazine!

    -- Posted by daffodil42 on Mon, Jan 30, 2012, at 9:46 AM