A Remarkable live oak

Tree Information
Common Name: live oak
Scientific name: Quercus virginiana
Category: Historic tree
Notes: During his grand tour of the United States in 1824, the Marquis de Lafayette visited to Richmond, and was hosted by, among other city fathers, Dr. John C. Brockenbrough, a wealthy physician and president of the Bank of Virginia. That same year, a Live Oak tree was planted on the southwest corner of Brockenbroughs property in the upscale Shockoe Hill neighborhood. The residence had a commanding view over Shockoe Valley and towards Richmonds Church Hill. According to legend, the tree was planted in honor of Lafayettes visit. The Brockenbrough House passed through several owners until 1861 when the City of Richmond acquired it and rented it to the Confederate Government as the official residence / executive mansion for President Jefferson Davis and his family. During and since the Civil War, the house and its small compound has been referred to as the White House of the Confederacy  referencing the Federal White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC  offering its significance and importance in American history. The White House of the Confederacy is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. The tree maintained a commanding presence on the property during the 5-year Federal occupation of the White House, during the subsequent 20-years or use as Richmonds Central School, and through the entire past 115 years history of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society and its Museum of the Confederacy. It is one of the few remaining original trees in the entire Shockoe Hill / Court End neighborhood. It measures ten and a half feet in circumference and has a 60-foot canopy. The White House of the Confederacys Lafayette Live Oak is the only remaining piece of the original landscape of the property. An original Ohio Buckeye (planted in 1820) was blown over during Hurricane Isabel in September 2003, and still exists in grafted form, but elsewhere on the property. That tree is the subject of a separate nomination. The Live Oak tree is at risk, given the encroachment of multiple high-rise hospital buildings in recent years. The hospitals 15-year building plan includes further encroachment and environmental deterioration during that entire period.
Best time to photograph: All year, daytime
Nominator: Dean Knight, Museum of the Confederacy
Location of Tree
County/City: Richmond City
Name of tree owner: The Museum of the Confederacy
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