History East Texas has been known for the fine quality of its agriculture since before the Civil War. A fortuitous combination of sandy soil, year-round rainfall and moderate climate made Tyler the ideal site for growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and flowering plants. The real turning point for the rose industry, however, was a blight that destroyed most of the county's peach crop. Following the devastation of the peach industry, many of the experienced nurserymen in the area turned their skills to growing roses. By the 1920's, millions of rose bushes were being grown in local fields. Tyler was rapidly gaining national prominence for rose production and soon earned the title of "Rose Capital of the Nation." Members of the Tyler Garden Club are credited with first promoting the Festival idea in 1933. They enlisted the cooperation of the local rose growers, the Chamber of Commerce and civic leaders to organize the first Tyler Rose Festival. Thousands flocked to the Festival and spread the word about this lovely East Texas community that was literally blanketed with blooms. In fact, the first Tyler Rose Festival was planned to be a showcase for the successful rose industry. A popular feature of the first Festival was a tour of local rose fields prior to harvest. The oil boom of the 1930's spared Tyler most of the effects of the Depression. As a result, this infusion of local wealth gave the early Rose Festivals an elegance rarely seen in other metropolitan areas. The Texas Rose Festival has persevered and evolved into an annual event that attracts thousands of visitors from across the nation and impacts the local economy with millions in tourist revenue.