The Arbor Day Oak Tree at Essex Co-Op was recently judged to be over 400 years old. That means that this white oak tree was probably alive when the first settlers moved into the area, all the way back in the 1600s.
In June 2019 the Topsfield Historical Society researched the importance of the Arbor Day Oak Tree, and worked to get it recognized as an area treasure. Two informational plaques were designed and placed in front of the tree, so visitors can learn about its significance. The Arbor Day Oak is located on the front right corner of the Co-Op’s lot, and Co-Op visitors are welcome to stop by to learn more about this historic Topsfield attraction.
The Arbor Day Oak bore silent witness to the unfolding history of the Topsfield area, including:
- 1652 The Towne family established their home and farm near the Ipswich River
- 1776 Topsfield soldiers marched off to battle in the Revolutionary War
- 1803 Newburyport Turnpike (now Route 1) was built
- 1818 Essex County farmers established the Essex Agricultural Society
- 1850s Treadwell Farm was given to the Essex Agricultural Society
- 1850 A new railroad was built between Danvers and Topsfield
- 1917 The Essex Cooperative Society was established