The Loss of an Athens Landmark.
Athens is saying goodbye to a historic gem in the next few days- the Hodgson Oak. The Hodgson Oak, located off Jefferson Road, was once known as Georgia’s largest white oak and is said to date back over 400 years, before the Revolutionary War! The Oak is set to be removed later this week due to significant, hazardous vertical cracks in the structure. The tree has been a favorite for many, and a bench below the Oak has provided a resting place for many over the years.
The Hodgson property, nicknamed Erymwold, was originally purchased by E.R. Hodgson Jr. and his wife, Mary, in 1939. In 1968, the property was inherited and occupied by Paul and Mary Anne Hodgson along with their four children. Mary Anne, a championed Athens tree advocate, lived at the property until her passing this past September. “The tree still belongs to me and my three siblings” says Tom Hodgson, and the property is currently still owned by the Hodgson family. The Oak has been a landmark to tell visitors they had arrived at Erymwold and has remained a conversation piece for the family and neighbors.
The Hodgson Oak was recently recognized by the Colonial Dames and other historical societies with a plaque and ceremony recognizing the age and historical significance of the great tree. The Oak can be found off Jefferson Road and will be removed later this week. The Hodgson’s are very sad to lose this historical piece of Athens and have written a letter to the community about the loss of the tree very close to them.
It is important to get trees checked for signs of hazardous conditions by local arborist. Even some of the greatest trees must be removed for safety. To find a local arborist please visit the International Society of Arboriculture’s website at http://www.isa-arbor.com/faca/findArborist.aspx.