Baldwin Apple Tree

Most versions of the Baldwin Apple tree’s origin seem to agree that William Butters either found or planted the tree on his property in the eighteenth century. Originally known as the Butters Apple –because it was found on the property of the Butters family – and then the Pecker Apple – because woodpeckers were attracted to the tree – the apple eventually became known as the Baldwin Apple due to the enthusiastic promotion of the apple by Loammi Baldwin. A Revolutionary War veteran known as Col. Baldwin, Loammi was a prominent citizen of Woburn and an engineer who was instrumental in the building of the Middlesex Canal. He also shared the Baldwin Apple with his numerous acquaintances which led to the apple being named after him. The original Baldwin apple tree is said to have blown down in a storm in the early nineteenth century. A monument to the Baldwin Apple Tree can be found on Chestnut Street in Wilmington, next to the William Butters II Farmhouse (165 Chestnut Street).

The Baldwin Apple Monument
The Baldwin Apple Monument

Bear Oak

The Bear Oak was located in the part of Wilmington known as “Buck’s Corner” – a neighborhood centered at the intersection of Wildwood and Woburn Streets. This area is where the Buck family built Wilmington’s oldest surviving house in the early eighteenth century, with later generations of Buck’s settling nearby to create a neighborhood defined by the presence and history of the Buck family. A legend about this tree’s place in Wilmington history evolved, stating that Ephraim Buck, hiding behind this tree on his property, took aim at and fatally shot a large bear that was threatening the area. Although this incidence is said to have occurred in August of 1760, it was popularized in 1880 when Rev. Danial Noyes told the story in a speech he gave celebrating the town’s 150th anniversary. Less than twenty years later, the tree was cut down, but the tree was not forgotten, with photos and keepsakes created to memorialize the tree and its story.

A carving of the Bear Oak Tree remains
A carving of the Bear ak Tree remains

Jaquith Hemlock aka Great Hemlock

The Jaquith Hemlock was a huge tree located on Aldrich Road, about a half a mile away from the West Schoolhouse, on land originally owned by one of Wilmington’s oldest families, the Jaquiths. Local lore said it was the largest and oldest hemlock tree in New England. Described in the midtwentieth century as “one of Wilmington’s most unusual physical features,” this tree was also called at that time “nearly perfect” due to its massive size and full branches. In September of 1953, The Wilmington Crusader reported that the tree was cut down by a real estate developer, who stated that the tree was unsafe due to extensive rot at its core.

Jaquith Hemlock
The Jaquith Hemlock was said to be the largest in New England

Whitefield Elm

The Whitefield Elm is the symbol of Wilmington, prominently displayed on the town seal. It was located on Middlesex Avenue (Route 62), across the street from the former site of the Whitefield School (not far from the Wilmington Registry of Motor Vehicles location). Local legend states that the controversial evangelist of the Great Awakening, George Whitefield, preached under this tree in the eighteenth century when he was not allowed into the town’s church. Early 20th century town historian, Arthur Thomas Bond, claimed that the tree was 16 feet in circumference when it was cut down in the summer of 1900.

The Whitefield Elm from the Wilmington Scrapbook, page 38
The Whitefield Elm from the Wilmington Scrapbook, page 38
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