Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Wedding Oak


Wedding Oak
Originally uploaded by linfrye
14" x 16"
Arches 140#CP
Charlestown Landing
Charleston, SC

In the late 1980s before I left for graduate school, I worked with the South Carolina Forest Service to locate beautiful tree specimens over 200 years old. The Forest Service was honoring those trees that had been well cared for and had survived so many years.

I located this oak during my study of Live Oaks (Quercus virginiana) and nominated it for this distinction. The oak was located along the row of former slave dwellings at Charlestown Landing, and the manager of the park told me that it had been the site of slave weddings. The tree received its due honor, and every time I visited Charleston, I had to make a trip to see her.

Since there had been so many changes at the Park since I last visited, I had a difficult time finding the tree again. The focus of the Park had been changed from a recreational destination to a state historic landmark -- complete with archaeological digs and evidence, reconstruction of a few dwellings, a fine museum honoring the founders and the groups who made the area famous. Absolutely delightful and a wonderful addition to Charleston's other historic sights.

C and I eventually found the tree -- but the large limb that reached to the ground and back up (propped in 1989) had fallen, and with all the changes to the park, the plaque had to be moved as well. Still, she stood grand as ever! I painted this from the photo I took of her this trip, and I do hope to paint it again from the 1980 photos I have of her in her former glory.

She is still as massive and impressive and she was long ago ....

5 comments:

wedding websites said...

The oak was located along the row of former slave dwellings at Charlestown Landing, and the manager of the park told me that it had been the site of slave weddings.

Teri C said...

What an interesting history to accompany your beautiful painting!

Sandy said...

My first visit to Charleston was all too brief last fall, but enough to Know this magestic city has Much to offer. The Live Oaks (Angel) are utterly glorious and what a treat to have worked with and for their preservation! Such a Lovely tribute here Lin. Thank you for sharing all this history!

Lorraine said...

WOW; incredible painting Lin and imagine it surviving all these years. You've really done it justice! Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful landmark and your lovely rendition of it.
Hugs,
Lorraine

Joan said...

Wonderful!!! You captured the stately elegance of this magnificent oak. Super job on the hanging moss. I've been to Charleston twice and haven't been to Charlestown Landing...I'll have to stop there the next time. I can imagine slave weddings being held here...imagine the stories that this tree could tell.

The beach was warm enough yesterday with my scarf, earmuffs, and gloves. Even though they said it was in the 50s the breeze from the water made it feel colder. We are having another mild day today, so I'm hoping to do something outdoors. Have a great day!