Going On A Journey Back In Time—The Oldest Tree

This is an old friend who has been faithful through my childhood and lives just around the corner from my new home. I wasn’t here in 1787 but suspect that a grandfather or two of the time were very close by. I can certainly feel its roots and mine connecting. I know from records that my family farmed and worked all the area in the Muddy Creek area of North Carolina. You’ve heard me say that my family moved here in the mid 1700’s and I’m living on land that they probably owned. I’m in the process of tracing that information through the Moravian Archives in Winston Salem, NC.

This mighty White Oak stands firmly in the park known as Tanglewood Park. We can thank the RJ Reynolds family for their generous efforts to make this and many other gardens a part of what they are today. They were garden enthusiast beyond their years. Today, I’ll be going to document what’s growing for this season. I’m there several times a week because it is almost in my backyard. I will have to pay an exorbitant fee of $2 to enter. I would gladly pay more to help with the conservation. The Master Gardeners of Forsyth County maintain the gardens today and have added many more beautiful and informational aspects to the original plan.

If you were with me, you would surely smell these overpowering boxwoods. It’s a trademark of the historical gardens. They can be seen in every setting.

I’m just headed out the door now but I’ll be back in just a bit with today’s —

My North Carolina

6 Comments Add yours

  1. linda says:

    What a gorgeous tree Anna! I suspect it will be around for many more generations. My ex-mother-in-law’s yard has several ancient oaks. One is estimated to be over 500 years old. It’s the biggest oak I’ve ever seen. My first wedding reception was held under it’s amazing canopy, and my girls grew up swinging on a wagon wheel swing attached to one of it’s immense boughs. Her village is very attuned to the value of these trees, and puts forth a lot of effort educating the residents about them. No one is allowed to take down a tree in her town without the village authorizing it, including for home building or expansion. There are many others in her area nearly as large, but hers is the largest one I’ve seen. She is 85 years old, and the tree will outlive her, and probably here grandchildren and maybe great-grandchildren as well.

    How amazing that your new home is on ancestral property, and that you were able to trace that. Some say there are no coincidences. . .
    *** I didn’t know how long Oaks live and so glad to hear your story. Massive Oaks are probably the scene of many weddings and receptions such as yours. The shade can’t be beat. Lots of old swings hanging from them too.

    I sometimes wonder about coincidences too. I believe more in fate and so glad I have journeyed down this path. Just today—I have listened to woman tell me a story that stopped me in my tracks. It is about a person who tried to employ me at one time as their personal assistant. I turned her down and many thought I had lost my mind for it was a great job. But today’s story—some many years later—reveals that my instincts were alert in not accepting. I was delighted to get the news for some decisions you make in life are not always answered.


  2. deb says:

    Anna, how lucky to live so close to your roots and a great garden. Love this post.


    ** Thank you and I am thankful! My roots run deep just like the tree.


  3. Nancy Bond says:

    A beautiful, stately tree! I think we can all conjure up a special tree from our childhood. Sadly, the one that comes to mind for me–a misshapen chestnut that we called The Umbrella Tree–has died, but your posts reminds me that I should take a few photos of its leafless shape before it ends up as somebody’s firewood. 🙂
    ** oh Please DO! I can’t stand to see our trees–from our youth and many youths before us…passing. I’m going to take a picture of this one every summer forever! I will –will it to live.


  4. Cynthia says:

    What a beautiful tree. If only he could speak, what wonderful things he could tell us about.
    *** I wold love to hear the stories and especially from the big baratone voice of the tree.


  5. Oh, that Oak is magnificent! There’s just nothing like an old, sturdy Oak. I think that living on land that your family used to own is very cool.
    ** It is cool to live here—but you know what…when I first moved here, I didn’t know it. I knew my family was from here but all our years away during my husband’s AF time kept me from much research on who lived where and when. Now that I’m back, I have discovered other generations and learned more about them. It has been very rewarding. But it’s pure coincidence that I’m back where I started–on the same land that is—cause we had to buy just like everyone else. It has changed hands quite a few times since my family lived here. Funny though..somehow you do feel a connection.


  6. What a majestic old tree and very interesting that is was standing when the constitution was signed. Can’t wait to see more of these gardens.
    ** I just got back home and I’ll post my discoveries in a bit. First—I got to go water—-everything is a dried up mess.


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