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Here I Once Stood

by | Jan 26, 2023

The inscription on the “new” bench at the entrance of the St. Alban’s neighborhood.


The 200 year-old, massive oak tree that once arched over the entrance to the St. Albans neighborhood came down in the early morning hours at the end of March 2022. It had been named one of Davidson’s Treasure Trees, with a circumference of 144 inches (12 feet), height of 62 feet, and an average crown spread of 99 feet. No one was injured when it fell across St. Albans Lane, but a vehicle was damaged. See some of Bill Giduz’s images here.

The massive tree was once a DLC Treasure Tree. The tag is now part of the bench.

The Davidson Treasure Tree program is a service of the Davidson Lands Conservancy. (Read more here.)

This beautiful tree was on the Concord Road property of the Watson family. Tom Leonhardt, a neighbor, came over when Layton’s Tree Service began the process of removing the tree. Leonhardt had an inspired idea.

According to Tom Watson, “My neighbor asked the tree service to preserve a large section of the tree.

“The wood was milled, kiln dried, and flattened by two young men, who recently started an exotic wood service in Davidson called Bloom & Johnson wood work. Next, he cut and assembled the planks to be made into a bench.”

Davidson neighbor Tom Leonhardt.

Watson prepared a site for the bench near the driveway where the tree had stood. Leonhardt incorporated the Treasure Tree designation label and QR code into the bench. Watson suggested that, “a determined passerby can use the label to look up the dimensions of the tree before it fell.”

Davidson citizens can easily walk along Concord Road, turn into St. Albans Lane, and rest on the enchanting bench, a loving reminder of a giant that once shaded people and provided a home to birds and animals in its expansive branches since before Davidson was even a town.


Marguerite Williams

Marguerite (Margo) Williams is a novelist ("Madame President"), editor, and business owner of A Way With Words. She has lived in Davidson since 1977. Visit her at her website.

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