a tradition wherein trees, that were "witness"
to historic events, have been deemed "witness"
trees. These trees are so cherished that, when they
are within Federal Parks, they are protected from
cutting or removal under Federal Law. Unfortunately,
their natural demise,
from disease or old age, cannot be prevented.
Tree Table", was made from the "Last Tree
on Seminary Street".
Likely over 140
years old, the tree was "witness" to many
of the events that make up Mercersburg's rich history.
As a recently planted sapling it would have been
"witness" on October 10, 1862, to J.E.B
Stuart's cavalry as they rode through the streets,
during the Civil War, looking for shoes and clothing.
A few pieces
saved when the tree was cut down, have been carefully
restored and assembled, in the most creative way
by Glen Martin Jr., owner of Martin Millwork Inc.,
into a beautiful table.
The table is
an exquisite example of the "art of furniture
making", as it captures the color and texture
(including the bark) of the live tree perfectly.
Most important, encased and protected under a thick
polished surface, yet clearly visible, are the "rings"
that attest to the trees age and what it has "seen"
Deemed the "Witness
Tree Table", this work of art is a fitting
remembrance and an important piece of Mercersburg's
Tree Table" was donated by Mr. Martin Jr. to
be raffled for the benefit of the Civil War Commemoration.
Tickets will be available starting the 26th of August
from the Chamber of Commerce and Commemoration Committee
Members. The drawing for the table will be December
14, 2002. 100% of the donations go to the J.E.B.
Stuart Raid Fund in support of the Fendrick Library
- Building Fund.
6, Mercersburg lost the last remaining tree standing,
literally, "on" East Seminary Street.
as "the tree in the street," the old basswood
tree which stood in front of the First United Methodist
Church had grown to more than three feet in diameter
and almost 100 feet high. Estimated to be over 140
years old, it was planted sometime around the time
of the Civil War.
there has never been an official accounting of the
older trees in Mercersburg, this tree was probably
one of the oldest remaining trees in the town.
years, as the street was widened to make way for automobiles
and the growing traffic to and from the Academy, the
tree, which at one time set comfortably within the
confines of the sidewalk, became almost totally surrounded
by macadam and a concrete curb.
the tree stood tall and even had a few leaves last
spring, it had actually stopped growing sometime in
the 1950's, according to the tree surgeons who removed
it. It had remained "mostly together" until
just recently, although it was almost completely hollow
from top to bottom.
Church officials had been concerned that the tree
would come down on its own one day.
as it was, on East Seminary Street, the tree was likely
witness to many of the events that make up Mercersburg's
rich history. As a recently planted sapling, it would
have been within earshot of the cannons at Antietam,
and later witness on October 10, 1862, to hundreds
of General J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry, as they rode through
the streets of Mercersburg looking for shoes, clothing
spite of its years of majesty and its place as a witness
to history, most of its wood was too rotten to be
used even as firewood. But, as luck would have it,
a local resident and Civil War buff happened to see
the tree being cut, and, knowing that the tree was
quite old, saved a few sections of the base of its
the tree slice will now become part of a beautiful
piece of furniture. A table is being created by Glenn
Martin, Jr., owner of Martin Millwork, Inc., a local
Mercersburg woodworking factory.
the table will be donated to the Committee for the
Commemoration of J.E.B. Stuart's Raid, and ultimately
will be auctioned off for the benefit of the upcoming
and related events are scheduled the weekend of October
collectors should check back here for more information.
person who acquires this piece of furniture will have
a unique relic of Mercersburg's history, and a piece
of one of the last living witnesses to one of the
most important chapters in our nation's history -
the Civil War.