Methodist Home Park White Oak

SPECIES: Quercus alba DIAMETER: 56.5 SPREAD: 110' ORIGINAL TREASURE TREE: No

Tree Location

Address:

3218 Shamrock Drive
Charlotte, NC 28215

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Coordinates:

35.233071
-80.771533

 

History

Hezekiah Alexander was born in 1728.  A blacksmith by trade, Hezekiah moved from Cecil County, MD to Western Pennsylvania in the 1750's.  With the breakout of the French and Indian war in 1754, Alexander and his wife, Mary, moved to Mecklenburg County.  Within a short number of years, Hezekiah Alexander would become an important player in County politics, and a leader of the revolutionary movement against the British Crown. 

Along with many of the inhabitants of Mecklenburg County, Hezekiah Alexander had many grievances with the British Authority.  These ranged from what were perceived as unfair taxation to land grabs by the English from already settled lands.  With the King’s vetoing of the Queen’s College Charter in 1773, of which Hezekiah was a trustee, he finally became a member of Mecklenburg’s Committee of Safety.  The Committee of Safety supported the Continental Congress, the body of delegates from the thirteen colonies which issued the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  In 1775 Hezekiah was chairman of the meeting where the Mecklenburg Resolves were adopted.  These resolves declared all British laws and authority null and void.  The Royal Governor at the time wrote that these resolves were the most “treasonable publications” ”this continent have yet produced.”

Hezekiah Alexander served both Mecklenburg County and North Carolina in several roles throughout the Revolutionary War years, culminating with facilitating the creation of the North Carolina Constitution.  During these revolutionary years Hezekiah turned from being a blacksmith to a planter.  He acquired farm land by what is now Shamrock Drive in East Charlotte, and built a two story brick house which still stands today as part of the Charlotte History Museum. 

Methodist Home Park was built on a portion of what used to be the Alexander Farm.  To the South of the park, woodland has reclaimed areas of old farm fields.  Through this wooded area a trail system has been created.  If you follow the trails to the west, amongst the smaller diameter tulip poplars, maples, and sweetgums you’ll come across a colossal old white oak.  In centuries past large trees were used as markers for farm entrances.  Because of this tree’s size and location it was likely a living marker for Hezekiah Alexander’s farm.  Several of the massive large lower limbs have declined or died due to the shade brought on by the young forest now growing around the centuries old tree. 

This Jewel of The Queen’s Crown may not be easy to find, but is well worth the effort.  The white oak is a truly gorgeous specimen, and a link to Charlotte’s past as “a hornets’ nest of revolution.”

 

Thanks to Hope Nicholls for discovering this tree on an urban hike.

For more infomation on Hezekiah Alexander check out The Charlotte Museum of History and NCpedia.

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