A Devastating Blow: Indian Trail Tree Destroyed by High Winds in Ohio
Indian Country Today
Historians are saying the trail tree that was knocked over by high winds August 30 in Woodville, Ohio may be the last marker tree in northwest Ohio, reports KPHO Channel 5.
The 200-year-old hackberry tree was the namesake of Woodville’s Trail Marker Park. Efforts to preserve it just couldn’t withstand the high winds.
“They tried to preserve the tree. It’s got bolts through it where they tried to hold it together and normal tree preservation, but there’s only so much you can do,” Michael O’Connor, president of the Woodville Historical Society, told KPHO.
The Toledo Blade reports that some are wary as to whether this tree was in fact a trail tree at all. Mayor Richard Harman said that now is a good time to figure that out by counting the tree's rings. Natives had left what is now Woodville in the late 1810s to early 1820s so the tree would have to be older than that to have been a trail tree.
Native Americans used to bend the trees when they were saplings to mark directions of trails.
A rock with a plaque remains at the site even though the tree no longer stands.
The Trail Tree Project has documented had 2,034 trail trees in 40 states as of May and continues its research. On their website at MoutainStewards.org they show trees they have found by map quadrants but not by exact location to help preserve the trees and protect them from vandalism.