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The two oldest trees on the Common

New England Folklore recounts the story of the two elms that flank the Robert Gould Shaw memorial at Beacon and Park streets - planted by John Hancock himself before the Revolution. Turns out the memorial sits on a vault designed to protect the roots of the trees.

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With that kind of history I'm really surprised that you're able to go right up to them like that.

I always thought they were part of the Memorial and never gave them a second thought.

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It’s a cool story.

But look how close to the street they are. And look at how ridiculously narrow the sidewalk is there! And that is the freedom trail! Get rid of a lane of traffic, widen the sidewalk and put up bollards to protect all the people there plus these trees and the monument.

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https://www.boston.gov/news/public-input-sought-boston-common-master-plan/

A while before the new year there were meetings and a public survey to collect data on what people want going forward. Don't quote me, but I believe the idea is they want to work with Vision Zero and transit groups to take it back for pedestrians; to calm the traffic hell that surrounds it, while also revitalizing the park and public garden.

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.... can’t be good for the trees or the monument. It’s also time to reopen the main entrance to the statehouse and allow people to enjoy the grounds.

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Periodically, dead branches need to be trimmed from those trees. The Friends of the Public Garden has made some of the wood into pens, which you can buy at their office (Beacon near Charles). You can contribute to the care and upkeep of the Common, the Public Garden, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall and, when it come time to put your John Hancock on a document, you can do so using a pen made from a tree probably planted by John Hancock!

https://friendsofthepublicgarden.org/product/elm-w...

IMAGE(https://friendsofthepublicgarden.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/OnlineShop-5.jpg)

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These pens come from elm trees believed to have been near the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial on the Boston Common

...the website makes their provenance sound a lot more dubious.

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The pens were made within the last couple of years from branches that were freshly pruned off the trees -- there shouldn't be any mystery about which elm trees the pruned wood came from.

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It should be corrected though.

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Thanks for sharing that, Adam. Great story.

I'll be sure to visit this fellows page more often!

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.. the less respect I have for this vain and envious man. But he did a good thing when he planted those trees... or more likely ordered some servant or ex slave to do so.

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Some British historians (not surprisingly) have a very different take on the American Revolution than we do. Some of them say that John Hancock and John Adams (both rich merchants) cooked up the revolution for their own commercial advantage... at a time when the colonists already had more political freedoms and less taxes, before the revolution, than the average Englishman (or other European) had. I have no opinion on this, but it's an interesting claim.

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was not a merchant. He was a lawyer and rode the circuit to find law cases, as one did in those days. Without Abigail at home minding the finances during his absences in the continental congress and in Europe, representing the U.S., they would have had no money at all. I have never read that alternate view of his finances, and it is flat wrong. Abigail even asked him to send pins home from Philadelphia so she could sell them because of the shortage in Boston. He did represent the British soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trial.

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... mistaking Sam for John?

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The tallest tree in the state is a 167.3-inch white pine in Mohawk Trail State Forest,... ... The oldest known tree in the state is in the Cold River area in Mohawk Trail S.F., a 488-year-old hemlock.

Interesting that both the oldest and the tallest trees are in the same area. I love Mohawk Trail State Forest, and have visited many times. It is one of my favorite places in our Commonwealth. I highly recommend visiting it (and taking advantage of its cheap (like $50-$75 per night) CCC built log cabins).

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