Castner Range National Monument

Help Make Castner Range a National Monument

Gold poppies first took root in El Paso’s past

The poppies on the Franklin Mountains are in bloom. There are many theories about where the poppies came from. A search of the archives found the following:

The U.S. Army National Guard troops planted the seeds, which were scattered by the winds.

A rich widow spread the seeds as a memorial to her husband.

A garden club purchased poppy seeds and contracted a helicopter to fly members over the mountains to scatter the seeds in the area.

About 40 to 50 years ago, a man inside an aircraft dropped the flower seeds on the area that became the poppy fields several decades later.

The seeds were left on the ground by sheep that came off a train in the Northeast. The seeds were in the sheep’s wool, which the sheep shook off as they grazed temporarily in the area.

About a dozen years ago, a crop duster that was sent to help put out a fire at the top of the mountains dropped the seeds.

A Japanese gardener sowed them years ago.

A young couple seeded them from a plane, on their honeymoon, to celebrate their wedding.

As it turns out, the suggestion to plant the poppies was made by W.G. Roe of the W.G. Roe Co. of El Paso.

A May 15, 1931, El Paso Herald-Post article, “See Business Asset From Poppy Plants,” describes the discussion that followed…
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