“Such a wonder you may see;
For the patriarchal tree
Blossoms still, — the living thought
Of good Governor Endicott.
Fruit again this year to bear;
Honor to that brave old pear!”
— Lucy Larcom, 1890
In the world of conservation, there is the amazing Angel Oak on Johns Island, which is drawing widespread financial support from people who want to expand the park in which it stands.
And in Massachusetts, there is, also amazing, the Endicott Pear Tree, which has a story of its own.
The pear tree was planted in about 1630 by English Puritan named John Endicott, who served as the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He planted it, while his family watched, as part of his attempt to make newcomers feel more comfortable in the strange setting.
And, as reported in Treehugger recently, the pear tree is still alive — and producing fruit. The fruit, mind you, is not big or attractive. Indeed, it’s been described as “coarse textured.” But it was good enough to send to President John Adams in 1809, and it is significant enough that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s seed bank produced its clone.
So while the country wrings its collective hands over wars, poverty, drugs and a sharply divided political landscape, it’s inspiring to know that good things can survive hardships. Both the Angel Oak and the Endicott Pear have withstood hurricanes, vandals and an extraordinary number of years.
The Endicott Pear stands as a reminder of the early settlers and their forbearance in an alien land.
The Angel Oak stands as a breathtakingly majestic reminder of the resilience and grace of the Lowcountry.
They are treasures that deserve our care and protection. All who agree should consider donating to the Lowcountry Open Land Trust’s Angel Oak Park fund.
The Land Trust is almost halfway to its $1.2 million goal. Donations can be sent to the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, 43 Went-worth St., Charleston, S.C. 29401.