Last week I went to Framingham State for an afternoon workshop, and the Massive Oak behind Hemenway Hall was gone, along with the Massive Oak in front of the library and all the smaller trees and undergrowth that used to fringe a plot of sunny grass students called Larned Beach. In the picture above, the blue sky on the right is where Massive Oak used to stand, as illustrated in this photo from March:
Because I’d known since March that Framingham State’s Massive Oaks were going to be cut down to make way for a new building–an inexorable transition from Old to New–I had braced myself for the big empty space they’d leave behind. Still, it’s shocking that first time you see Nothing standing where there once had been Something.
At right is the last picture I took of Massive Oak, back in May when he was just starting to leaf. As I’d mentioned then, the wood from Massive Oak would be donated to the restoration of Mayflower II, a historically accurate, 56-year-old replica of the ship that brought the Puritans to the New World.
Today in catching up with my online reading, I saw an illustrated blog post from Plimoth Plantation showing exactly how the lumber from Massive Oak was dismantled and carted away. In the end, Massive Oak’s trunk and limbs weren’t long enough to provide planks for the ship’s hull–apparently he wasn’t that Massive–but they will be “very useful for frame stock as well as structural knees.” Happy trails (or sails) to you, Massive Oak.