historical sycamore dimensions   Dale Luthringer
  Mar 22, 2007 16:14 PST 

Here's a little behind the scenes discussion Scott & I had on some
historical sycamore accounts along the Allegheny & Ohio Rivers:
Celeron's expedition along the Allegheny in 1748, Washington's notes of
a canoe exploration on newly acquired land in 1770. Hope you don't mind
Scott. Just that others might have some insight on this too.


-----Original Message-----
From: Luthringer, Dale J
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 9:25 AM
To: '
Subject: RE: sycamore site?
yeh, most likely.

I think during Celeron's expedition down the Allegheny they describe a
monstrous "cottonwood" that they could fit some ungodly number of people
and/or oxen inside. I think the cottonwood he described would most
likely have been a sycamore. Can't put my hands on that text though at
the moment.


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2007 1:51 PM
To: Luthringer, Dale J
Subject: RE: sycamore site?

I would have to guess they were coppices? I guess anything is possible
though. Johnny Appleseed used to live in hollow sycamores, so who

There are two champs at the norway spruce address, but I can't think of
what the other one is right now.

Thanks, Scott

-------------- Original message --------------
From: "Luthringer, Dale J" 

Here's an interesting quote from George Washington's Journal, 1770 I
just read in 'Early History of Western Pennsylvania' by I.D. Rupp
(copyright 1846!). He was traveling down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh
in a large dugout canoe with other travelers looking at potential
settlement areas for soldiers. The large sycamore he describes below
was near the junction of the Ohio & Kenhawa Rivers:

"November 4th, 1770

After passing these hills, which may run on the river near a mile, there
appears to be a nother pretty good bottom on the east side, - At this
place we met a canoe going to Illinois with sheep, and at this place
also, that is, at the end of the bottom from the Kenhawa, just as we
came to the hills, we met with a sycamore about 60yards from the river,
of a most extraordinary size; it measruing 3ft from the ground, and 45ft
round, lacking 2 inches; and not 50yards from it was another, 31ft
around. After passing this bottom, and about a mile of hills, we
entered another bottom and encamped.- This bottom reaches within about a
half mile of the rapid, at the point of the Great Bend."

I can't even imagine a sycamore that would be ~14ft across 3ft up from
the ground, let alone a ~10footer right beside it!


Re: historical sycamore dimensions   Fores-@aol.com
  Mar 22, 2007 17:23 PST 

The area described is now the site of Pont Pleasant, WV and most of the
Islands in the Ohio River on both sides of Point Pleasant for over 100 miles are
now part of a preserve managed by the National Park Service. It is said that
some of those islands still contain some monstrous sycamore.   George
Washington was once the owner of over 10,000 acres in the Point Pleasant, Lower
Kanawha Valley area.

Re: historical sycamore dimensions   brown_-@colstate.edu
  Mar 23, 2007 06:35 PST 

I believe there have been some attempts to do historic reconstructions
from witness trees from Washington's surveys in Western Virginia -- I
think the consensus is that his journals and field notes are accurate.

Roger Brown
Re: historical sycamore dimensions   djluth-@pennswoods.net
  Mar 23, 2007 07:08 PST 


Super, thanks for your input. Are you familiar with the Scioto River in
Southern Ohio? I have a friend who sent me an article on a type of old growth
sycamore/river bottom site that might have promise, just don't have it on hand
at the moment.

Re: historical sycamore dimensions   Fores-@aol.com
  Mar 23, 2007 07:52 PST 

I've heard of the Scioto and I have driven along a little of it. From what
I have experienced working with private woodlands in interior of WV is that
there are numerous small patches of old growth scattered on farms across the
region. My best gut feeling tells me that there should be at least a few
small areas of fairly undisturbed old growth along some major stream
corridors....especially if it was never rail roaded.

I have worked a great deal along the Little Kanawha River and some of the
sycamore sites are extremely impressive... especially when it is possible to
compare photos from the early 1900's to the current reality.

My best guess is that a boating expedition along some of the navigable
lower reaches of Ohio River tributaries could prove interesting.


Re: historical sycamore dimensions   djluth-@pennswoods.net
  Mar 23, 2007 08:17 PST 


He usually was very good in his descriptions & land nav since he did a lot of
surveying work. I just remember his account up to Ft. LeBoeuf as he was
delivering Governor Dinwiddie's letter to the French (1753?) that they were on
"British" soil, where it appears that some of his distances on his mapped route
didn't quite pan out. They're Indian guides led them on a series of alternate
routes criss crossing the Allegheny River, French Creek, and other tribs due to
the usual routes being flooded out and absolutely miserable weather.

Re: historical sycamore dimensions   djluth-@pennswoods.net
  Mar 23, 2007 11:02 PST 


Now there's a future Ents trip. I'm slowly working my way down the islands in
the Allegheny River Islands Wilderness Area. There are definitely some
beauties on some of these islands just waiting to be discovererd, can't even
imagine what might be down in your neck of the river.