'Lincoln Tree' sapling puts down roots

For hundreds of years, a huge burr oak stood on what is now the east side of Mahomet, near the site of the historic Nine Gal Tavern.

“It was huge,” Jane Stubblefield, who owns the adjacent property with her husband Dennis. “Everybody called it the Lincoln Tree.”

According to local lore, the tree predated European settlement of the area. Its proximity to the tavern site—where Abraham Lincoln may have slept during his years traveling the 8th Judicial Circuit—gave it its name.

The tree was cut down over a decade ago to make way for residential development. But now it lives on in the spirit of a new tree planted last week near the “Looking for Lincoln” historical marker at the tavern site on U.S. 150.

On Friday, staff from Sharp Nursery in Champaign planted a burr oak sapling grown from an acorn from the “Lincoln Tree.”

The acorn was collected 12 years ago by a former teacher at nearby First School, where Jane Stubblefield is director. Since then, it’s flourished in a nursery awaiting replanting on the property.

Students from First School came out to watch the planting on Friday. Curator Valerie Hall from the Museum of the Grand Prairie—which oversees archeological excavations on the site—was also on hand, as well as Mahomet Village Administrator Patrick Brown.

Stubblefield said that the tree visible to motorists on the top of the rise has died and will need to be cut down, but added that she hopes the new tree will take its place in the landscape.

Last year archeologist Len Stelle and the Stubblefields donated hundreds of artifacts collected from the property to the Museum of the Grand Prairie.

Categories (2):News, Environment


The Mahomet Citizen embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. we reserve the right to remove any comment at its discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments