Richardville House Spirit TreeThere are plenty of trees on the grounds where Chief Richardville lived, but there are two Silver Maple trees sitting at the entrance that are extra special.

The trees are huge and old, possibly over 100 years old, with branches growing every which way.

What makes the Chief Richardville trees so special are the deep, y-like branches that spread out from its base along with a gnarly knotted piece in the center.

The y-bend and knot mark it as a “bent” tree. When it was just beginning to grow, this type of tree was deliberately manipulated by Native Americans centuries ago, so it would stand out.

I asked a few people what they thought about the trees, including Miami Dani Tippman. She expressed the fact that it could possibly be what is called a Spirit Tree.

“Could it be because it was a meeting place?”
“Did it mark a boundary?”
“Or a trail?”

A lot of unanswered questions remain.