If you enjoyed our previous Hidden Gems post about the Murals of Athens, then you are in for a treat. If not be sure to check out our previous post.
We're back to give you even more hidden gems to go explore and show you how truly unique and quirky Athens is! Today, we will be digging into the mysterious trees that have taken root in our beloved town. I know what you are thinking, "Trees?" These are not your everyday run of the mill backyard trees. These trees have stories and history just waiting to be told!
Grab your walking shoes and your camera and go on an adventure that you can't find anywhere else!
1. The Tree that Owns Itself
Location: 277 S Finley Street (where Dearing and Finley Street intersect)
Get ready for the most bizarre and interesting story you have ever heard. The story begins back in Athens during the 1800s. During that time, the tree was owned by a professor at the University of Georgia, Col. William H. Jackson. Jackson loved the great big Oak and deeded the tree ownership and surrounding land to itself. I know what you are thinking "this is crazy cool."
Fast forward to October 1942 when the tree, which was diseased at the time, fell down during a large windstorm. The tree was so beloved by Athenians that the Junior Ladies Garden Club planted an acorn from the original Oak to replace it.
To this day, the property rights have never been questioned and the tree continues to stand as a well-known Athens landmark.
The Tree Marker reads... "For and in consideration of the great love I bear this tree and the great desire I have for its protection, for all time, I convey entire possession of itself and all land within eight feet of the tree on all sides."
2. The Tree Room
Location: Tracy Street
The Tree Room, a popular venue for weddings, events, and exploring, has been around since the late 19th century. This unique space served a much different purpose back in the day. The building was thought to be used for coil shipment and as a cotton depot. People claim that the space was also used by many illegal travelers as shelter. In the 1960s, the place caught fire leading to both the ceiling and the floor being burned. This is how the space got "opened." The Tree Room then stayed vacant for 20 years.
The current owners discovered the room after the 1990s and wanted to preserve the space and give it a special place in Athenian hearts. The mulberry tree still stands tall within the space along with many twinkly lights.
Not only can you explore this destination, but you can also stay the night there. The owners of the Tree Room have an Air BNB available right next door! Talk about a cool, extraordinary overnight adventure.
3. The University of Georgia Arboretum
Location: The University of Georgia campus
Want more beautiful trees? Head to the University of Georgia campus which as a whole is considered an arboretum. Each direction you look, your eyes will be met with wondrous colors from various leaves. The University didn't want to assign one specific area of campus for the arboretum, as they wanted people to enjoy it anywhere they walked. My recommendation is to go on this beautiful tree walking tour, which was first launched in 1990 by the UGA Campus Arboretum committee, in the fall when the colors are the most spectacular. Start your walk on North Campus, which in my opinion has the best sights. Here you will find a large Ginkgo Tree in front of the Holmes-Hunter Academic building, which is a brilliant, breathtaking yellow in autumn. In addition, you can also find a large array of bamboo. After North Campus, work your way down to the UGA Trial Gardens. Here you will find even more beautiful floral plants. Even if you've been through campus a million times, this walk will be like no other.
I firmly believe this unique adventure will be one that you and your family will never forget! You'll grow to love these incredible landmarks.