Salem Oak Tree - Salem, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 39° 34.375 W 075° 28.228
18S E 459591 N 4380462
Quick Description: The exceptional Salem Oak Tree is located in the Friends Burial Ground in Salem, New Jersey, USA.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 7/4/2008 7:52:22 PM
Waymark Code: WM4454
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Black Dog Trackers
Views: 97

Long Description:
The following tablet about the tree is located on the brick wall surrounding the burial ground.

A historical marker about the Salem Oak Tree is located just outside the burial ground. The marker was placed by the Salem County Cultural and Heritage Commission and it reads as follows:

Salem Oak Tree. Most famous New Jersey tree stands in cemetery. By tradition, John Fenwick made his treaty with the Indians in its shade, 1675.

The Salem County Historical Society provides the following history of the oak tree:

There is probably no historic site in Salem County better known than the Salem Oak. It has been celebrated in poetry and prose for over a century, and incorporated as a symbol of the county by both private and public enterprises.

Unlike any other local landmark, the oak is a living reminder of the county’s history. Estimated to be more than 400 years old, this ancient tree is said to have shaded the Lenni Lenape, and local lore maintains that John Fenwick treatied with Native Americans beneath its branches upon his arrival here in 1675. What is certain is that the Religious Society of Friends, Salem Monthly Meeting, has owned the tree and surrounding property since 1681. This was the site of Salem’s first meetinghouse and is still maintained as the Friends Burial Ground. The Friends Meeting cares for the grounds and the tree to this very day.

Since at least the 19th century the Salem Oak has attracted widespread interest and awe, even though it is not the largest nor oldest oak in New Jersey. In 1876, for example, a sapling from the venerable tree was planted in the First Presbyterian Church’s cemetery on Grant Street. Known as the Centennial Oak, the tree survives and thrives today. Fifty years later, in 1926, three of the oak’s progeny were planted along George Washington memorial Parkway near Washington, D. C., as part of the nation’s observance of its sesquicentennial. The following year, Charles Lindbergh flew over the tree in the "Spirit of St. Louis" as part of a national tour five months after his historic trans-Atlantic flight and dropped a message for the citizens of Salem.

So revered is this tree that scarcely a branch or acorn touches the ground without it being gathered and preserved in some way. We know that souvenirs and commemorative items have been made from the wood of the tree for at least a century. These cherished objects are interesting for what they represent, like some relic that connects its possessor with the past in some tangible way.

Genus/Species: White Oak

Height: 61

Girth: 22

Method of obtaining height: Reliable source

Method of obtaining girth: Reliable source

Location type: Private property

Age: 420

Historical significance:
Is said to have shaded the Lenni Lenape (a Tribe of Indians). In addition, local lore maintains that John Fenwick treatied with Native Americans beneath its branches upon his arrival here in 1675. The Religious Society of Friends, Salem Monthly Meeting, has owned the tree and surrounding property since 1681. This was the site of Salem’s first meetinghouse and is still maintained as the Friends Burial Ground.


Website reference: [Web Link]

Walk time: 2

Photograpy coordinates: N 39° 34.375 W 075° 28.228

Planter: Not listed

Parking coordinates: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
A closeup picture of your GPS receiver in your hand, with the tree in the background, is required. If the tree is on private property, this closeup photograph with the tree in the background may be taken from the nearest public vantage point without actually going to the tree.
The required photograph does not need to show the entire tree, but the individual tree must be recognizable.
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