• Creator
  • Wilson, Ernest Henry, 1876-1930
  • Created Date
  • 1924-02-02
  • Description
  • Quercus alba Massachusetts (Waverley) Trunk of Waverley oak. Detail of Waverly Oaks. Charles Sprague Sargent considered the Waverly Oaks to be "all things considered, the most interesting trees in eastern Massachusetts, and although there are larger Oaks in New England and in the Middle States, a group containing so many large trees is not often seen now anywhere in eastern America...and well-known to all Bostonians interested in nature,and st... more
    Quercus alba Massachusetts (Waverley) Trunk of Waverley oak. Detail of Waverly Oaks. Charles Sprague Sargent considered the Waverly Oaks to be "all things considered, the most interesting trees in eastern Massachusetts, and although there are larger Oaks in New England and in the Middle States, a group containing so many large trees is not often seen now anywhere in eastern America...and well-known to all Bostonians interested in nature,and strangers not infrequently make the pilgrimage to Belmont to look upon these venerable products of Massachusetts soil" (Sargent, 1890). This group of trees consisted of 22 large white oaks, 1 swamp white oak, and one large elm growing on an area of two or three acres. In 1890, the smallest of them was estimated at 1,000 years old, but this might be an exaggeration because there were petitions being made to preserve these trees around the 1890s. In the year 1890, they were probably 408-508 years old, at the very most. They grew a few hundred yards away from the Waverly train station, directly opposite of the property of the trustees of the Massachusetts General Hospital. A small public park was erected around these trees to protect them. Several painters associated with the Boston Art Club urged the Art Club to purchase them and the ground that they grew on as "sketching ground for Boston artists, as Fontainebleau serves for Paris." These "Waverly Oaks" were also of great interest to Henry Warren Manning (1860-1938), who was an influential American landscape designer and promoter of the informal and naturalistic "wild garden" approach to garden design. The Waverly Oaks survived only a few decades beyond the establishment of the Beaver Brook Reservation. In the 1920s, they died because of ice storms and old age. (Charles S. Sargent, "The Waverly Oaks," in Garden and Forest, February 19, 1890). less
  • Format
  • Photographs
    Glass negatives
  • Rights
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