Angel Oak Tree, Johns Island, SC

This fantasy like tree is thought to be one of the oldest living organisms east of the Mississippi River. It is estimated to be 500 years and produces shades with an area of 17,200 square feet
One might wonder where the name came from, so I decided to do a bit of research and found multiple background stories.  This oak tree derives its name from the estate of Justus Angel, who is an african american slave and his wife, Martha Waight Tucker Angel.  Local story says that the ghosts of former slaves appears as angels around the tree, haunting the area.

There is one legend that says the tree was once home to gigantic birds.  The slaves were tied up to the tree as a punishment, so that the birds would feast on the bodies of slaves hung in the tree.  There is also a story about the slaves being buried under the tree including Native Americans who met under its shady branches before the area was settled by the white man. It’s told that these spirits fly around the oak and protect the tree, so that it may never die. If there really is human remains under the tree, it’s not hard to imagine that the tree has fed off of the remains, adding to the tree’s allure.

If you are a book fanatic, this Angel Tree is featured in the book, The Locket, by Emily Nelson. The area also hosts a number of artistic and social events throughout the spring and summer seasons.

As usual, the photos are by me, and anyone who wishes to use it are free to do so.

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