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Children's Garden

The Children’s Library is based on the story of Drury Harrill’s Rose Garden, a popular show spot in Shasta County during the 1850s. Harrill owned the Westcott & Bartlett Soda Factory and cultivated a large six acre garden next to the factory. The garden was located north of the current Shasta Elementary School, between School Street and Crocker Alley, on the hillside. The garden was a popular gathering place for young people on Sunday afternoons. The Drury Harrill story is written on the wall of the Children’s Library, next to the information desk.
While the narrative behind the design for the Children’s Garden is based on the story of Drury Harrill, the actual shape of the children’s garden, which is twisted from the grid of the building, is reflective of the shift in the City Grid of Redding during its early development. This shift is especially evident in the original 1890 official Map of Redding.

Old map of City of Redding from 1890

Drury Harrill’s Rose Garden

Harrill's rose garden was a show spot in Shasta in the early 1850s. Located about due west of the Catholic Church foundation, about as large as a city square and enclosed by a high fence festooned with roses of many hues, it was entered through a secret and winding path through an old apple orchard by way of a hole in the fence. Inside was a perfect heaven of roses over the fences, hanging from the trees and smiling from every nook and corner. A rock fountain and pool were fed by a hillside spring trickling from under a weeping willow shade. Gold fish darted through the water like streams of new-mined gold. Huge tall glass bottles, which as children, we could not reach the top with our hands, stood in among the roses.

All the children of Shasta were welcome to this retreat to play and to bring lunch and eat in a vine-covered summer house in one corner of the garden. In another corner lived "Old Man Harrill," beloved of every child in Shasta. Here in a screened room dozens of golden canaries made the hours golden with their singing.

In time all Shasta mourned for the keeper of this garden. The church bell tolled and the band played "Love Among the Roses" as was his expressed desire. Drury Harrill and a cluster of roses are engraved on his stone where he sleeps in the Shasta cemetery.

Mrs Nettie Prehn
as cited in Shasta County California: a History by Rosena A. Giles 1949