Whilbr Heading
Search | Use Google Search
Collection:


Words or Phrase:


Search Method Help Image




Left Nav Image    Home   |   Links   |   Contact Us   |   Facebook   |   Digital Whilbr
Yellow Bar image
Description ImageWhilbr Description
        
 

  


Collection Dropdown Image
Allegany County
Category Divider
Garrett County
Category Divider
Washington County
Category Divider
Civil War in Maryland
Category Divider
Genealogy Resources
Category Divider
Photographs and Prints
 
Giant twins (Gortner) page 5


Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information

   



these monarchs of the forest, when autumn approaches, light up their own funeral pyres with a breath-taking splendor.

When Peter Gortner first looked upon this imposing object it was already a large tree. Some of the inhabitants of the forest had left, never to return. The Indians camped beside it, mother pointed out, and the elk, bear and buffalo browsed nearby while a panther was hidden among its branches ready to make a spring. Deer and wild turkeys foraged for acorns around its base, and often turkeys and passenger pigeons would roost in its branches at night. It was the home of raccoons, colonies of squirrels, wood-duck and tree frogs. Around its base lived the tiny black mole and the chipmunk. Also one could find the Russula Virescens, a large green-capped mushroom, a very edible one, which thrives in the soil around white oaks. In the Spring trilliums and violets could be seen coming up through the leaves of last Autumn. And when the writer thinks of all the feathered tribes that flitted from branch to branch, and nested from year to year in the Giant Oak it stands out as an enshrinement of all this varied lifeā€”in its lonely dignity.

For years the sudden dark-skied storms with their resounding thunder and long streaks of blinding light had a special attraction for the Giant Oak. The god of the storm evidently was envious of its proud independence, its success in surviving the adversities of nature and the avarice of man. From year to year the lightning would strike near it with such fury that at long last it capitulated. The lightning had ripped at its sides so many times that the sap could no longer run its course. And there it stood gaunt, like the obelisk of Heliopolis, with the record of its struggle imprinted on its bole.

The last time the writer saw it standing, just a skeleton, was in June 1946. It stood out bleakly yet proudly alone and forsaken. Even though stripped of its foliage it was a giant that could stand firm on its own feet. Even in death it stood as the most prominent object for miles around. It was two hundred seventy-six years old, according to the number of growth circles. When he visited it again in 1962, just a little over a century from the arrival of Peter Gortner, it was lying prone.

It now has fallen into dust. Yet how much we would like to know what transpired in and around it during its span of life. If only there had been an instrument to have left a record of it for posterity.



THE LIBERTY TREE

The famous Liberty Tree in front of Woodward Hall on the campus of St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland has important historical associations. In 1781 the Marquis de Lafayette with his French army marched by it on their way to Yorktown. On his triumphal tour of America in 1824 he stopped at St. John's and made a special point to visit




ID:
gctg067

Creator:
Rev. J. C. Breuninger

Date:
1963

Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Contributor:
Editor: Felix G. Robinson

Subject:
Maryland, History

Coverage:
Western Maryland, 1750-1963

 
 
Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

Footer Image     Contact Webmaster  |  Copyright Information Top Line Image