Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Tree That Owns Itself - Athens, GA

One of the things I wanted to do while I was in Athens, GA was to visit The Tree that Owns Itself. The tree was deeded to itself, along with the surrounding 8 feet of land, by Colonel William Henry Jackson. Jackson apparently had such fond childhood memories of the tree that he didn't want anything to happen to it.

The Tree That Owns Itself

According to an article in the Athens Weekly Banner of August 12, 1890 the deed read:
I, W. H. Jackson, of the county of Clarke, of the one part, and the oak tree… of the county of Clarke, of the other part: Witnesseth, That the said W. H. Jackson for and in consideration of the great affection which he bears said tree, and his great desire to see it protected has conveyed, and by these presents do convey unto the said oak tree entire possession of itself and of all land within eight feet of it on all sides.
(Wikipedia article)

I found out in my search for info on the tree that the current tree standing on the deeded land is The Son of the Tree that Owns Itself. The original tree succumbed to rot and fell in 1942. It was replaced by a tree grown from one of the original trees acorns.

The Tree that Owns Itself and surrounding land

A colorful folk tale about an eccentric man who loved a tree. From what little I know of the city, this seems to typify Athens. An interesting, eclectic city filled with talented people enjoying life. Definitely worth a visit.
Happy Travels!


  1. Hi! I am excited to find out one thing, could you please share with us the place where you spent your childhood?

    1. I moved around a bit as a child so had the benefit of growing up in many different parts of the US. Thanks for the comment!