North Salem and Bedford, NY  September 15, 2007
October 14, 2007
  Diana Lee

Some time ago, I took some pictures of some favorite trees for ENTS.
The first was of a sycamore tree across from the Purdys homestead.  It
was in danger of being cut down some years ago with some fellow giants
along the route 116 road which boarders a New York City water supply
reservoir.  Fortunately, a grassroots efforts which included tying
yellow ribbons around the trees saved them from the chainsaw.  I also
noticed a pine on the homestead proper that looked straight and tall
and shot its portrait too.

purdy_pine.jpg (76892 bytes)
White Pine at Purdy's Homestead

purdy_sycamore1.jpg (115837 bytes)
 (1) Sycamore at Purdy's Homestead 6' 9 inches and 6 feet 1inch diameters

purdy_sycamore2.jpg (93439 bytes)
 (2) Sycamore at Purdy's Homestead 6' 9 inches and 6 feet 1inch diameters

purdy_sycamore3.jpg (99232 bytes)
 (3)Sycamore at Purdy's Homestead

Purdy's Homestead is a  circa 1775 farmhouse that has been converted into a restaraunt.  One review reads, "this charming establishment has three intimate dining rooms. Architectural embellishments include stone fireplaces, rustic beams and wide-plank, wooden floors. There's also a private dining room for catered events."  Located at 100 Titicus Road, North Salem. 

My next stop was at the John Jay Homestead (John Jay was the first
Chief Justice of the US).  I was scouting around briefly and found a
magnificent cucumber magnolia quietly growing in its stately manor.

jay_cucumber1.jpg (93038 bytes) jay_cucumber2.jpg (127725 bytes)
 Cucumber Magnolia in front of Carriage Barn at the John Jay Homestead 8' 8" in diameter- photos by Diana Lee

The Carriage Barn was constructed in 1801-02 for John Jay, the building was used for housing horses and storing carriages and tack until the early 20th century.  John Jay Homestead State Historic Site is the home and farm of John Jay (1745-1829), one of America’s principal Founding Fathers. Operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the property includes 62 acres of magnificent grounds and twelve historic buildings. Its centerpiece is the main house, built by Jay to be his home in retirement following a lifetime of public service. Visitors learn about Jay’s many roles in the formation of the United States, his family, and his years at Bedford as a gentleman farmer.  John Jay Homestead was home to six generations of the Jay family, who lived here from 1801 to 1953. Visitors who tour the historic house will view thirteen beautifully restored period rooms; and additions to the house constructed by his descendants. Four outbuildings can be visited as well, telling the story of agriculture here through five generations. The grounds include four lovingly tended formal gardens, meadows, woodland walks, a charming Ice Pond, and a breathtaking alleé of giant beech trees.  Bedford,  NY

Another 10 minutes south took me to Glebeland behind St. Matthew's
church in Bedford.  This has been a favorite place for many years
although I don't get down in that direction as much these days.   It
is very similar in tone to the famous Mianus River Gorge and may share
the same stream.  It is difficult to tell from the maps I got a hold
of.  In any case, the hemlocks here have always inspired me as
apparently they did a pastor who saw a chapel in the woods on a
morning stroll.  The chapel was constructed to all the specifications
of his vision - rustic cross, stone alter, etc.  The first time I saw
the chapel in the woods, I was astounded to see that someone
understood the cry of my heart while I sat through many a sermon in
the dusty, enclosed, confines of our church.  Worship in God's
cathedral!  Oh yes, the trees.  As you can see from the photos, the
hemlocks are large and beautiful.  I'm estimating that the three right
in the chapel are in the 200 year range since the smaller tree that
was cut down was 150 years old.

glebeland_hemlock1.jpg (105243 bytes)
Hemlocks at Glebeland, Bedford, New York
glebeland_hemlock2.jpg (128033 bytes)
Cathedral in the Woods

glebeland_hemlock3.jpg (126776 bytes)
Moss on a large tree

glebeland_hemlock4.jpg (94700 bytes)
Right trunk is 3' 10" in diameter

The stream that runs through the area just down from the chapel is
very full in spring and dwindles in summer.  There is a very healthy
colony of trout lilies that blanket the forest floor in the springtime.

glebeland_hemlock5.jpg (98257 bytes)
Tree is 3' 11" in diameter
glebeland6.jpg (98839 bytes)
 Hemlock by stream at Glebeland, Beford, NY 5' 5 - 3/4 inches diameter
glebeland7.jpg (95786 bytes)
 Hemlock by stream at Glebeland, Beford, NY 5' 5 and 3 quarter inches diameter - looking up
glebeland8.jpg (86780 bytes)
 Hemlock stump at Glebeland 150 rings Bedford, NY 3 feet 5 and one half inch diameter

The last picture is of a great sycamore in front of the Bedford
Library.  If you look carefully, you will see a seedling growing out
of the cavity in the tree.

bedford_library.jpg (109690 bytes)

Sycamore in front of the Bedford Free Library 6' 6" in diameter - photo by Diana Lee.

On the Village Green 
Bedford, New York - The historic building in which the library is housed was once a school built in 1807. It became the library in 1903.