Honestly, some of the nicest and most interesting folks come by the Surry County Visitors Center!
Yesterday, Karen and Bob Walden of Mechanicsville, VA stopped by and were very impressed by the large old beech tree on the grounds of the Historic Courthouse. They followed up by sending me some pictures that they had taken and a link to a cool website that helps you determine the age of a beech tree (Fagaceae Fagus) without doing any damage to the tree.
Raised by my Daddy to never be without a pocketknife and a measuring tape I was prepared to go out this morning, measure the tree's circumference, and do the necessary calculations.
As it turns out, this gorgeous beech tree could possibly be 328 years old! That means it was already a mature tree when the first Surry County Courthouse was constructed on this property in 1796, and would have been considered "ancient" when the existing courthouse was built in the early 1900's. It has stood tall through Bacon's Rebellion, the American Revolution, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and it currently stands guard over the nearby monument to our WWI and WWII military service members which was erected in 1947.
Stop by to see this stately beauty for yourself on your next trip through Surry - enjoy its shade and imagine all the moments in history it has witnessed. Just remember, history is all around us here in Surry County!