Ray Romine: Biography & Context

The celebrated “Postman Poet” of Marion County, Ray Romine (1910-1954) was born in Marion in 1910, & came to national renown in the 1940s-1950s through the prolific stream of popular “light verse” he penned while walking his postal route through Marion. Published in the Saturday Evening Post & other high-circulation magazines of the time, Ray composed nearly 3,000 poems in his short life. His talents, however, reached beyond just his flair for words: Ray was a gifted watercolorist, cartoonist, & a passionate amateur lepidopterist whose butterfly & moth collections & research contributions are still cited by journals in the field to this day. Ray’s other great love was hybridizing iris to produce new & unusual color combinations. Remnants of his iris artistry are still visible in garden beds around Terradise. Ray Romine died suddenly in 1954 — less than a year after he & Trella moved to Terradise. Terradise Nature Center, today, works to honor & amplify the legacy of this multi-disciplinary artist by centering environmental arts programming & granting other local artists the chance to experience “heaven on earth” on the Whetstone — Ray’s Terradise muse.