Site of South Pueblo's Hanging Tree - Pueblo, CO
N 38° 15.839 W 104° 36.846
13S E 533759 N 4235176
Quick Description: A plaque showing the old location of a large and old tree in Puebo
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 2/7/2010 3:38:25 PM
Waymark Code: WM86J3
From the plaque
SITE OF SOUTH PUEBLO'S HANGING TREE
June 25, 1883 - 338 rings - first growth 1545.
"Old Monarch" cut down in South Pueblo on June 25, 1883 was 388 years old, had a circumference of 29 feet and was 88 feet tall. It proudly served as the oldest tree landmark in what later became the State of Colorado and stood as a testament to the fertility of the Arkansas River Valley soil.
Stories tell of 14 men that were hanged from one of its limbs at different times. The first white woman that died in Colorado is said to have been buried under its sprawling branches.
Though recorded history cannot validate these colorful claims, the magnificent Cottonwood eventually became known as the "Hanging Tree." The day came, however, when the value of the tree in the middle of the main business street was challenged. In spite of 366 protesting citizens, the South Pueblo Council ordered it to be cut down. Men hired by the Council approached the tree and informed the gathering crowed that they were only there to trim the branches. This, of course, was the news the protesters wanted to hear and soon dispersed. As soon as the crowd had gone, the Council sent orders to girdle the tree. Once that task was done all hope of saving "Old Monarch" was lost.
My comments: One might reasonably ask why the tree couldn't be kept. The buildings in the picture are no longer there. During this time period, the railroad was being developed in Pueblo. There were a lot of new buildings being built along this street. There was also a horse drawn trolley put in. Apparently, the tree became too much of an impediment to "progress."
Looking down the street in the direction of the picture is the Union Depot which would be built not too many years after the tree was built. Along this street was a trolley line. At first horse drawn, then later, electric.
The tree stood right in front of the Gold Dust Saloon. (From information I read in a local museum.)
Cottonwood trees have a habit of losing branches during wind storms. Perhaps it was just too dangerous as the area developed.
Group or Groups Responsible for Placement:
Pueblo County Historical Society and the State Historical fund
County or City: Pueblo
Date Dedicated: unknown
Check here for Web link(s) for additional information: Not listed
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