I went in search of one of Austin’s most famous trees but found something completely unexpected.
Ok. Maybe not completely unexpected. We were in a cemetery, after all.
I had just heard about the people of England voting for their favourite tree of the year when it occurred to me that maybe Austin also has famous trees. Probably not quite as cool as some of the trees on the English short list (Robin Hood’s Oak, Isaac Newton’s apple tree and the Magna Carta tree) but …
Anyway. After a very brief internet search I learned about a famous pecan tree that was practically next door! Zoom … Zoom … and I was out the door.
The story: On his deathbed, Governor James Hogg (1851-1906) said he didn’t want a monument of stone.
Let my children plant at the head of my grave a pecan tree and at my feet an old-fashioned walnut tree. And when these trees shall bear, let the pecans and the walnuts be given out among the plain people so that they may plant them and make Texas a land of trees.
The pecan is the official state tree partly because of Hogg’s boosterism.
In no time at all we were wandering around the cemetery and let me just say that it isn’t called Oakwood Cemetery for nothing. I was having a hard time finding ANY pecan trees. When we finally found Governor James Stephen Hogg’s cenotaph there were some nice oaks close by but I could see no giant pecan tree growing in or really near his plot.
When I got home I found out the original pecan tree died in 1969. Then the replacement died in the scorching drought of 2011.
Angel Sculptures at Oakwood Cemetery
I have been unable to find any information about the artists responsible for the various angels.
Small sampling of the emotional range below.
And really. We better get our act together to maintain this cemetery because SOME of the angels are starting to get pretty annoyed …