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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Metal trail marker. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
PEONY TRAIL. Edwin B. LYONS, remembered for the E. B. LYONS INTERPRETATIVE CENTER bearing his name, established Dubuque's famous "peony trail" in memory of his wife Ella B. LYONS who originated the idea for the DUBUQUE CIVIC GARDEN CLUB. (1)

The trail was a project begun in 1938. In the first year, volunteers planted 6,000 peony plants during September and October. The goal was to have 10,000 planted along the fifteen miles of streets from the MOUNT CARMEL MOTHERHOUSE along Grandview Avenue and north to EAGLE POINT PARKand in the local parks. Residents dividing their own plants in the fall were asked to contribute to the project or send in one dollar. (2) A call to a member of the Garden Club would result in someone coming to the contributor's home to pick up the plant. Financial contributions were also welcomed. (3) By 1946 a ton of fertilizer had been donated by the Civic Garden Club for the trail. (4)



1. Lyons, Mrs. E. B. Lyons, "More Peonies to be Planted," Telegraph Herald, August 20, 1939, p. 3

2. "Peony Planting is Urged Here," Telegraph Herald, September 3, 1939, p. 17

2. Lyons

3. "Gorgeous Peony Trail Forecast," Telegraph Herald, May 12, 1946, p. 14