After learning that the Avery Oak tree had been turned into a gavel after a thunderstorm knocked it down in July 1973, The Five-Year-Old asked perplexedly: “Why would they make a gavel out of it? Why not a historical coaster?”
Although I was unable to determine whether or not a historical coaster was ever made out of the wood of the Avery Oak tree, I did find this beautiful picture of the Avery Oak tree on Mark Holden’s website. Holden had been commissioned by a friend of a friend to turn a portion of the fallen tree into a beautiful wooden box, and found himself interested in the origins of the materials he was working with.
My brief Google search also revealed that the Dedham Historical Society owns a chair made from the Avery Oak tree.
That brings the tally of objects known to have been made from the tree to one gavel, one box, and one chair. According to the “Avery Oak – gone but not forgotten” article on the Dedham Public Library’s website, several unidentified Dedham residents collected bits and pieces of the oak tree to save as mementos. The Five-Year-Old and I remain hopeful that an authentic Avery Oak historical coaster exists somewhere.
- Mark Holden, turner of wood
- Dedham Collection (Dedham Public Library): A collection of online resources about the history of Dedham