The Felling of a Civil War Sycamore
A year ago I found five Sycamore trees along Otter Creek adjacent to the 19th century log farmhouse that has been featured in this blog as it was being “reconditioned”. The very old trees were the largest that I have found in all of my wanderings through these expansive woods. Here is a photo of the largest one without its springtime foliage.
The tree was well over 100 feet high, with a diameter near the ground of 4 1/2 feet, and a circumference of 13 feet. It must have been growing before the Civil War…
Last week while walking along the creek , I was shocked to find what remained of that magnificent specimen.
I was numb, and tears came to my eyes. From the sawdust evidence and freshness of the clean cut, I realized that the owners of the farm, who also happened to be the same people who had rebuilt the old farmhouse, had chosen the Sycamore specifically for its size and monetary value. I immediately went to the temporary sawmill above the log house to see if the tree was there, and this is what I found.
Over the years, the landowners have selectively cut trees on the property as a way of earning money, and more recently, as a way to get lumber for the reconstruction of the historic house. It’s just such a shame that they felt no remorse in choosing the largest and oldest tree to fell. All they saw was the money it could bring them, and to Hell with history. It hurts… It really hurts. Thank goodness for state and national forests.