Monday, May 16, 2011

Regal Tree, Historic Sound?

Thomas Jefferson was not only the third President of the United States, he was also a naturalist, as well as a farmer, inventor, historian, and writer.
In 1807, TJ planted a poplar at Monticello that lived nearly 200 years. Now guitar-makers Huss and Dalton are turning its wood into noteworthy instruments.

Regal Tree, Historic Sound?

From left: Jeff Huss, Betsy Baten and Mark Dalton with the sizeable stump from the Monticello 

On April 16, 1807, Thomas Jefferson noted this in his Weather Memorandum Book: “Planted 1. Laurodendron in margin of S. W. shrub circle from the nursery.” The meaning of TJ’s shorthand? He had planted a poplar tree just outside his bedroom. Flash-forward to about 1870: In the earliest known photograph of Monticello, wintry conditions are ravaging Jefferson’s home—and the aforementioned poplar can be seen towering overhead. That tree would grow to 22 feet in circumference and live nearly 200 years, until 2008. That year the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF) took down and milled the diseased poplar, concerned that it was threatening the restored mansion it once shaded.

Read the entire article here from Virginia
Learn more about Monticello here
Learn more about TJ's personal retreat POPLAR FOREST which is in Forest, VA.

BRFAL Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist loves Virginia History!  Learn more about this program in Virginia here. Get outside and find something fun!

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