Gardens & Grounds
The Empire Mine grounds, which became a showplace in the
mining world, included not only the mine buildings and
equipment but also the residences of the mine owner,
Mr. William Bourn, Jr.,and the superintendent, Mr. George
Starr. The grounds included a Clubhouse for entertaining,
extensive lawns with fountains, a reflection pool and gardens
with a greenhouse.These features are all now incorporated into the Empire Mine State Historic Park.
The Bourn gardens encompass approximately 13 acres, which
were off-limits to the miners except for one day a year
when the Bourns sponsored the Miner's Picnic, the proceeds
of which benefitted the miner's widows and orphans.
A gardener, Foo Sing Oyung, from Canton, China, was
employed by Mr. Bourn to maintain the gardens and
greenhouse. The estate gardens included native trees and
plants and a vast assortment from around the world. Some
imports include Amur Cork trees from China, Southern
Magnolias, English Laurel, Hawthorne, Weeping Birch,
Italian Cypress, and a well-developed hedge of English
Holly. The rose gardens have been restored to the period
Circa 1905, with more then 950 rose bushes of 56 varieties.
Many of these historical roses have been propagated and are
for sale at the Gift Shop.