On Wednesday, August 17, a giant red oak was cut down. The tree, a Fort Wayne landmark, had fallen prey to the ravages of insects, lightening strikes and father time.
It was a seedling when Indian Village was a real Indian Village. It had watched the St. Mary's River bring white settlers into the area. It existed before the canals, the railways, the interurban and the present day roads. It was growing before the great Civil War and existed through World War I, II, Vietnam and the first Iraq War. Standing along the river, it had watched the gristmills turn out fresh flour and it stood by as the Poor Farm, the orphanage and the old stable next to the present day Sears Pavilion came and went.
It had seen countless floods, droughts and seasons of plenty but Wednesday, August 17, it succumbed to the chain saws of the Fort Wayne Parks Department. By Friday all that was left was a stump and a gnarly old chunk of trunk.
The companion red oak that stands nearby will partially fill the void left by the elder tree, but the old landmark leaves an empty hole where a beautiful tree once stood.