Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
McMinnville in Warren County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Birthing Tree

 
 
The Birthing Tree image. Click for full size.
By Deanna Lack, August 1, 2014
1. The Birthing Tree
I hope you can tell the size of it from the photo... it dwarfs the telephone poles!
Inscription. Standing as a silent sentinel to the town, this enormous white oak (Quercus alba) welcomes travelers into the city of McMinnville. This tree is 85 feet tall, a crown spread of 125 feet, and a possible age of over 250 years old. It has several lower limbs larger than many trees. However, it is not size that gives this white oak notoriety; the Birthing Tree is steeped in local folklore. The tree was a local landmark for settlers passing through the area. Travelers from North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia would travel through Knoxville on the Old Kentucky Trail. These roads converged at Rock Island (the closest city at that time), and then passed under the spreading branches of this giant tree before continuing south to Alabama. The huge oak was a well-known meeting place for these weary travelers. Some waited for long periods of time for fellow settlers, bad weather, or lack of supplies.

Entered on the Tennessee Landmark & Historic Tree Register in 2000 as a Landmark Tree.
 
Erected by Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.
 
Location. 35° 41.897′ N, 85° 44.545′ W. Marker is in McMinnville, Tennessee, in Warren County. Marker is on Sparta Street (U.S. 70S) north of Vocational Technical Drive, on the left
The Birthing Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Deanna Lack, August 1, 2014
2. The Birthing Tree Marker
when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1524 Sparta Street, McMinnville TN 37111, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Clay Faulkner (approx. 1.7 miles away); Anthia Brady Hughes (approx. 1.9 miles away); W. S. "Dad" Lively (approx. 2 miles away); Carl T. Rowan (approx. 2 miles away); Morgan's Headquarters (approx. 2 miles away); Uncle Dave Macon (approx. 2 miles away); Symbol of Strength (approx. 2.1 miles away); Elisha Pepper II (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McMinnville.
 
Regarding The Birthing Tree. Oddly, the reason the tree is called The Birthing Tree isn't clear on the text on the marker.

Apparently the delays in travel mentioned on the marker were long enough for several children to have been born under its boughs. Legend had it (one site said Native American legend) that children born here were destined for a life of good fortune.
 
Also see . . .  Tree's Page on TUFC Landmark, Historic & Heritage Trees Page. (Submitted on August 6, 2014, by Deanna Lack of Sparta, Tennessee.)
 
Categories. LandmarksNatural Features
 
The Birthing Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Deanna Lack, August 1, 2014
3. The Birthing Tree Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 6, 2014, by Deanna Lack of Sparta, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 257 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 6, 2014, by Deanna Lack of Sparta, Tennessee. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page.
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