The 1942 Trees of New Albany
Joyce, When we were children, we always looked for the 1942 trees. That meant that we were really getting close to Grandpa and Grandma's in Sayre. In those days it was about a 7 hour trip from Maryland. Although they've been gone for a long time, it's still something we look for whenever we get up that way. This is what I copied at the Bradford Co Historical Society last year when we were in town. My brothers and I have made the trip 2 years in a row now.
AROUND THE AREA
HISTORY OF THE '1942' TREES GIVEN
Doris Hugo, a collector of history from New Albany,
letting us know that Leon Wilcox, an area farmer who owned the land at
the time, and Vine Lee, a nearby resident, planted the trees in New Albany
that read "1942." Mrs. Hugo notes that Boy Scouts did later keep the area
trimmed so the numerals could be read. Mrs. Hugo notes that Wilcox and
Lee marked the numerals out on an area about 200 feet long. She says they
"dug individual holes for each little tree," and that Mrs. Wlicox grew
the trees from "tiny scotch pine nursery stock she raised in her garden."
Mrs. Hugo also relates that Mrs Annabelle Lee recalls taking her little
boy to watch the planting. Mrs. Hugo adds that "the reason the trees don't
show up much anymore is that they were planted in a gully." Mrs. Hugo says
a "lone tree" that was above the 1942 grouping is also well-remembered
by the area's older residents. "The lone tree was planted on the same hillside
as the 1942. There was an American flag tied to it and it stood over New
Albany for two years or more before wind blew it over. You can see it in
some of the older pictures of the town.
Another version being given for how the "1942" trees got planted north of New Albany. According to Janice VanScoten Nusbaum of Athens, "My father, the late Marshall J. VanScoten, who was vocational agriculture teacher at Athens High School from 1934 to 1962, and his 'ag' boys planted those trees. They were working on a forestry project at the time. There is also a stand of evergreens on the hillside between Milan and Ulster which they planted about the same time. I have had those two parcels pointed out to me since I was a child and heard the story of how they were planted."
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