A grand old Elm Tree seems to have just succumbed to the dreaded Dutch Elm disease. A tree which was probably living when our country was at war with itself during the Civil War. A tree that defied all the rules of long life but lived it anyway; that saw much of our Town's history but couldn't write or speak about it, this Elm experienced it all.
Growing on Hanover Street just north of Second Street this Elm grew in the front yard of what used to be the Swavely Home, where Orb Swavely last lived. I speculate it, along with a Red Oak tree, were planted, most likely, prior to the start of the 20th Century. They survived in spite of the smallness of the front yard they were planted in with buildings, and sidewalk, and Hanover Street so close.
Finally, when this Elm Tree is cut down, some smart students should get a cross section cut from the lower trunk and have a project of counting its rings so its age can be determined and certified.
There is an old saying,"when any person dies, a little is lost from from each of us". For me, someone who planted trees for a living during my active working years, I carry this sentiment over from humans to the plant world. My feelings are expansive.
When you drive on Hanover Street give a nod of your head to the now leafless grand old tree which has bowed finally to the scourge of disease, probably, the Dutch Elm Disease. This disease, in my mind, is similar to some form of cancer in humans, and, like cancer, must be eradicated from this Earth.
Ronald C. Downie