There’s No Other Historical Landmark In West Virginia Quite Like This 300-Year-Old Tree
There’s a delightful children’s book about a young man who lived in a hollow tree. The idea has captured the imaginations of readers but did you know that it has actually been done? And by some of the earliest European settlers of West Virginia, no less.
Over 250 years ago and a decade before the American Revolution, brothers and British army deserters of the French and Indian War John and Samuel Pringle escaped from Fort Pitt and lived in hiding for more than two years (from 1764-1767) in a massive, hollow sycamore tree.
Sycamores are the largest trees native to West Virginia.
Later, the Pringles went on to establish the first permanent English settlement west of the Alleghenies at their treehouse.
It was located in what was then the colony of Virginia and is now Pringle Tree Park in Buckhannon, West Virginia.
The remarkable, gnarled sycamore tree that you can view today in Pringle Tree Park along the Buckhannon River in Upshur County is, at its roots, the same tree that the Pringle Brothers took residence in over 250 years ago.
While the aboveground portion of the original tree was destroyed once by disease and once by flood, this third-generation Pringle Sycamore is remarkably similar to its grandparent, including its hollowed trunk.
This is a picture from the early 1900s of a younger version of the current third-generation Pringle Tree.
You can still visit one of the Pringle brothers: he's buried nearby at the Hampton United Methodist Church Cemetery in Buckhannon.
So fascinating, as is the fact that renowned Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson's great grandfather was part of the original group that settled West Virginia alongside John and Samuel Pringle.
If the idea of living in a tree has caught your fancy as well, check out these articles about local treehouses:
Stay At The Holly Rock Treehouse In West Virginia and You’ll Want To Visit This Unique Treehouse Village Hiding Right Here In West Virginia and Most People Have No Idea This Incredible Treehouse Even Exists In West Virginia.
Did you know about the Pringle Tree? What other cool and unusual historical spots have you visited in West Virginia?
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Pringle Tree Park Rd, Buckhannon, WV 26201, USA