Jack Brubaker

Jack Brubaker

Three bald cypress trees, each more than 120 years old, stand on an 18th century farm in Willow Street — many miles from where their seedlings originated in Louisiana in 1893. Now the Louisiana State forester would like to bring some seeds from those trees home to the Louisiana State Forest.

Len Eiserer triggered the Louisiana request by writing about the cypress trees on his website, “Tree Treasures of Lancaster County.” Eiserer regularly describes special Lancaster trees. Last month, he discussed the bald cypress specimens.

The trio of trees — 75 to 80 feet tall — stand near the 1760s farmhouse of David Stull on Linestown Road at Willow Street. Stull told Eiserer they grew from cypress seedlings given away as souvenirs to everyone who visited the Louisiana State Building at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

So Eiserer speculates that the owners of the Willow Street property in 1893, John and Christiana Hershock, visited the fair, perhaps with friends, and returned with three seedlings. If so, those trees would be 127 years old today.

After his description appeared on the web, Eiserer wrote to Wade Dubea, the Louisiana State forester, to ask whether the state Forestry Department provided the seedlings to the fair. Dubea said there was no forestry department in 1893, so the seedlings likely came from lumber mill owners.

Then Dubea asked for seedlings from Willow Street. “We have a grove of historically important trees at our State Forest and I would like to add one linked to this event,” he wrote.

Eiserer will gather seeds from Stull’s trees in the fall and send them on to Louisiana.

If you know about a tree that should be recognized as special, contact Eiserer at eiserer@aol.com and he may include it on his website.


On May 13, the Scribbler published a letter from Joe DuPrey, who wondered about what appears to be an abandoned nursery in the middle of Landis Woods near Neffsville. Multiple rows of evergreen trees are surrounded by an outer growth of Eastern redbud trees.

Ryan Dodson, who still lives in Manheim Township, explains that Manheim Township students — he was one of them — planted those rows of evergreens on an Earth Day in 1995 or 1996.

He cannot recall “why this patch of land in the middle of the forest was vacant and required seedlings.'”

Feedback: 2

Also on May 13, the Scribbler printed a photo of old ruins in the woods behind the Franklin & Marshall College playing fields on Harrisburg Pike. Dr. William Boben, who snapped the picture, wondered what that was all about.

The answer, according to three respondents, is rubble from the demolition of the second block of North Queen Street. In preparation for creating Lancaster Square in the 1960s, Lancaster demolished the better part of two blocks of old buildings and hauled the parts out to the old Lancaster Brick Co. site in that woods.

David Schuyler, Paul Ware and Mike Rudisill say that photo shows concrete rubble. But it’s not all there. When Binns Park was created in the square in 2005, builders moved several parts of those destroyed structures back to the park to remind people of what had been.

Bob Shank has a different opinion. He believes the picture shows part of an old brick-firing furnace.

— Jack Brubaker, retired from the LNP staff, writes "The Scribbler'' column every Wednesday. He welcomes comments and contributions at scribblerlnp@gmail.com.

What to read next