If a tree falls in your backyard can it still be a “champion”?

A pretty quiet few days here in lovely Georgetown, South Carolina.  We’re about to start a push up to Mobjack Bay, however—where we’ll leave Misty Pearl with Zimmerman for a few small service issues—so quiet days may be hard to come by for awhile.  We’ll take ‘em when we can.

Basically Georgetown is comprised of a Mayberry-like main street and a non-Atlantic City-like boardwalk.

The charm here is the history, of course, rather than the bustle.  For example, the iconic clock tower is Georgetown’s signature building.

Been here since 1842.  Built by slave labor.  Used for about every municipal function as possible.  Very cool that it remains as a monument to all sorts of things.  Plus the clock was accurate.

South Carolina was the ringleader of secession in large part because of rice.  Rice—planted and harvested and milled by slaves—made this state—and particularly this part of this state—fabulously wealthy.  Secession provided the best path to maintaining the rice-based economic system.  Not surprisingly, therefore, Georgetown has a Rice Museum.  The museum is located in what used to be Kaminski Hardware.

Old Man Kaminski’s dusty ledger books from the plantation days still line the shelves.

In 1971, a diver stumbled upon the oldest existing commercial boat built in the U.S., or so the tour guide claimed.  The smart people think it sunk around 1730, which indeed would make it pretty old.  The boat doesn’t seem to have anything to do with rice, of course, but it’s in the museum anyway.

Speaking of boats, the girls arrived for Easter.

This made the boys and us quite happy.  We annoyed all of them by pausing Forrest Gump every time something happened at a site we’ve visited.

Remember that post in which we marveled at Lovers Oak, which has been around since the Declaration of Independence?  Boy do we feel silly.  Here in Georgetown we found the Actual Certified Oldest Tree.  Fittingly it’s called Champion Oak.  Champion Oak isn’t just a few years older either.  At some 580-years-old, it’s more than twice as old.

The weird thing is that it’s just there in someone’s backyard.  The sign is out by the sidewalk.  Does having a protected Champion on your property make that property more valuable or less valuable?  Do you lay awake at night worried that the dude who owns the second-oldest tree will sneak up and pull an “Al from Dadeville” on it?  We also find it odd that in 580 years none of the property owners needed firewood or decided a tomato patch would be preferable to an old tree that sheds leaves all over the place.

The day it rained sucked from an exploring perspective, but we did get to play a lot of cards.

Saturday night, Georgetown hosted a Shag Festival, which would’ve been great if we were in Great Britain and we were thirty-five years younger.  But we weren’t either of those and it was cold and it was windy, so we stayed on the boat.

Today we took Shannon to the airport.  Time for that final end-of-the-school-year push.  Tomorrow we’ll head up to Dirty Myrtle.  Mallory leaves Tuesday morning.  It’s always great to see them, and always sad to lose them again.

Your thoughts?

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