What happened to the wood of the Avery Oak tree?

The Avery Oak tree. (Image via Mark Holden)

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.

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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