Original Three Oaks Trees Now Determined to be White Oak
In August 2016, TROTOM received a request from Dr. Robert Tatina, PhD, Editor, Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science and resident of Sawyer, Michigan, to run a chemical test on a portion of the three oaks of Three Oaks wood specimens held by our museum. His purpose was to determine “1. What type of oak were they, red oak, white oak, black oak, pin oak, etc.?” To date, through much research reading old articles from The Three Oaks Press (predecessor of The Acorn) and other historical articles regarding our area, he had been able to determine “where they we located and what happened to them, but not when.” He had also been able to reduce the list of possible oak species to two—red oak and white oak.” His information would be used “as part of a historical research article” after which a copy would be given to the Museum. After completing two simple, non-obtrusive tests on our artifact, the following findings were presented to TROTOM:
“The three large oak trees that are the namesakes for Three Oaks are gone. As important as they were, no one wrote their epitaph. What species were they? After reviewing records of the kinds of oak trees that were found most commonly in and about Three Oaks, we narrowed the species down to white oak or red oak. But how do we decide between them? Fortunately, someone thought the oaks were significant enough to save several pieces, and these can be seen at the Museum. When these were examined recently, we determined that they were pieces of tree root. And when we performed an “ebonizing” chemical test, we found them to be from a white oak. And so the three oaks of Three Oaks were most probably white oaks.”
It is interesting to note that The Region of Three Oaks Museum logo has white oak leaves within (as determined by the rounded leaves), as if we knew something! We appreciate the time and interest Dr. Tatina gave so we have another piece of history verified.