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This is what remains of the eponymous copper beech of the Copper Beech Inn—the more than two-century-old tree finally succumbed to disease. The remaining wood may be carved by a local artist into a sculpture of the inn’s logo, though these plans have not yet been finalized. (Photo by Michelle Anjirbag/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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Those who drive by the Copper Beech Inn in Essex might notice that something is missing. The eponymous tree that used to cast shade across the inn’s front parking lot, as much a historical artifact as the building itself, was removed after it was determined that it was rotten at the center.
The tree had stood in front of what was originally the home of Archibald Welsh Comstock, the son of ivory importer Samuel Comstock, since the 1890s. At the time, it was common for these trees to be planted as a sign of statesmanship in front of more prominent homes. The tree was taken down earlier this year as it was rotting from the center due to a fungal disease. However, the inn plans on keeping the tree’s more than 200-year legacy alive.
“It’s going to be a succession, not a funeral,” said the inn’s general manager, Jeremy Maione.
As of the time of writing, the branches have been trimmed down to the stump, but the stump hasn’t been rooted. Protruding limbs were cut away for safety purposes. The inn intends to have the trunk sculpted by a local artist into the shape of the logo, if possible.
“It would be a way to keep a piece of the history on-site,” said Maione.
The trimmed wood that is in good condition is currently being milled and the inn is also in touch with local artisans about making commemorative objects, such as plates, bowls, and decorative pieces. Some of these would be sold while others would remain on display at the inn.
The inn is also interested in acquiring a replacement copper beech of around 25 to 30 years old.
“We’re hoping to have a celebration and planting in late May or early June,” said Maione.
Though plans are still being formed, the Copper Beech Inn plans on keeping those interested informed through its website www.copperbeechinn.com. For more information, call 860-767-0330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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