Mystic in New London County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Live Oak Log
Live Oak Log
From the Gervais Family Plantation
Johnís Island, SC
This tree grew on the coast of South Carolina for over 600 years, until it was blown over by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. With help from the Gervais family, Mystic Seaport workers salvaged the tree along with ten trailer loads of prized live oak.
This tree was something of a family totem on the Gervais Plantation. Generations grew up playing on swings hung from its branches, and the family wanted to send the butt log to Mystic Seaport rather than have it destroyed.
Trees such as this one are also powerful symbols of African-American community as they are gathering points for social activities. On cold days, African-Americans living as slaves on the Gervais Plantation gathered around fires built up against this tree. Evidence of these fires can be seen in the burn marks within this log.
The gnarly growth that you see makes live oak a dense and strong wood, long favored by shipbuilders for frames and knees – parts of the structural system within a wooden ship. This fine shipbuilding wood is not generally available on the market. The upper branches from this tree have been used in various Mystic Seaport preservation projects, but there are no plans to saw up this huge log.
Erected by Mystic Seaport
Location. 41° 21.574′ N, 71° 57.883′ W. Marker is in Mystic, Connecticut, in New London County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Greenmanville Avenue (Connecticut Route 27) and Bruggeman Place, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located in Mystic Seaport. Marker is at or near this postal address: 75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic CT 06355, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Compound Steam Engine (a few steps from this marker); Wichmann Semi-Diesel Engine (within shouting distance of this marker); Lathrop D-90 Diesel Engine (within shouting distance of this marker); Propeller Steamer Sabino (within shouting distance of this marker); Harbor Tugboat Kingston II (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Eastern-Rig Dragger Roann (about 300 feet away); Hays & Ros Clark Shiplift (about 400 feet away); Whaleship Charles W. Morgan (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mystic.
Regarding Live Oak Log. Live oak from southern states was used extensively in constructing the U.S.S. Constitution, contributing to her nickname “Old Ironsides”
Also see . . . Mystic Seaport, The Museum of America and the Sea. (Submitted on September 8, 2013, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Categories. • Environment • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 8, 2013, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 340 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 8, 2013, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.