The Tree That Owns Itself Owns a Letterbox  LbNA # 7771 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateMar 10 2004
LocationAthens, GA
Found By Cherokee Rose
Last Found Sep 24 2004
Hike Distance?

The Tree That Owns Itself - RETIRED
Difficulty: Easy (Drive-by)

Box was RETIRED.

The Tree That Owns Itself is an Athens legend that started in the 1880s when Colonel W. H. Jackson deeded land surrounding a tree to that tree. The marker immortalizes his words: "For and in consideration of the great love I bear this tree and the great desire I have for its protection for all time, I convey entire possession of itself and the land within eight feet of it on all sides." There are 3 different markers at the site and the road curves around the tree to honor the deed. It has also been a feature of the old Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not cartoon column.

The original tree was blown over in 1942, but an acorn of the white oak was planted in the same spot 4 years later. Technically, the current tree is the “Son of the Tree That Owned Itself,” but is nearly 60 years old anyway.

The tree is at the corner of Dearing and Finley Streets; the only remaining cobble-stone street in Athens. The location is prominently marked on the map available at the Athens Welcome Center. (It is marked as #38.) If you have trouble finding it, any local or University of Georgia student can help you out.