Jackson’s Silenced Sentinels

Hwy 61 stumps Jackson 05-23-2015_7097Almost every time I head out of Jackson from Wib’s BBQ headed toward Fruitland, I notice some big stumps on the south side of Hwy 61 near the Welcome to Jackson sign. And, every time I’ve muttered to myself, “One of these days I’m going to have to stop and shoot those things.”

The odds are pretty good you won’t see them on the way INTO Jackson like in this photo because they’re down the embankment.

Massive stumps

Hwy 61 stumps Jackson 05-23-2015_7115

I finally got around to stopping.

To give you an idea how big these trees were, I put a dollar bill in the photo for scale. A bill is six inches wide, so the top of the stump is three feet or more across. It has to be at least 10 feet around. (Click on the photo to make it larger.)

What have these trees seen?

Hwy 61 stumps Jackson 05-23-2015_7129Wikipedia reports that the first post office in Jackson was established in 1814 when the area was called Birdstown. Old McKendree Chapel, the log cabin that is the oldest Protestant church standing west of the Mississippi River, was built in 1819.

I didn’t even try to count the rings to see how old the trees are (that’s a math thing), but I wonder if they were standing that long ago? Anyone want to guess what kind of tree they were and how old they might be?

5 Replies to “Jackson’s Silenced Sentinels”

  1. Good to see you back…and say hello to your mom for me too! As a young person I do remember more tree around the Jackson sign and that it was hard to read at times…maybe that is what happened.

    1. Will do, Terry. I’m not completely back, but I’m going to try to post more frequently, even if I’m not back to seven days a week for the short term.

      As you and Bob Pollack point out, we used to have a lot more trees around. (See Bloomfield Road “improvements” for an example of how we can cut down in days what took decades to grow.)

      I wonder how big the trees were that formed the canopy over Highway 61 between Cape and Jackson before it was widened?

  2. Based on the bark, I would guess that they were wild cherry trees. The diameter would suggest about 40 to 50 years old. This judgement comes from a wild cherry that was on our property line that was 56 inches in diameter which was about 75 years old and had the same-looking bark.

  3. The Cape to Jackson road was known as the 10 Mile Garden leading to the City of Roses…. see SE Missourian blog. 10 to 25,000 rose bushes planted by Cape Special Road District 1931. My Dad worked on the road crew as a teenager and actually drove a mule team when it was first developed.

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