Standing, as it does in a field near where North Road splits off towards Chilmark, this tree is a landmark. A point of navigation. It’s also been a stopping point for tour buses. I’m sure that over the course of its life it has been photographed hundreds of thousands of times. Even occasionally by well-know photographers. In 1969, it was photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt and in 1973, one of my favorite photographers, Aaron Siskind, photographed it as well.
I don’t know why this tree is considered historic by the town of West Tisbury, but it played a role in my own personal history. It’s the tree that I rode my bike past on the way to kindergarden and later, the tree across from the bakery (that’s no longer there) where we used to get cinnamon rolls. For me, it has become a marker in time as well as place.