Sunday, March 17, 2013

Stop and Smell the Magnolia Blossoms

Corner of 2nd St and Oak St
As Spring approaches, the area's landscape will be awash in a rainbow of colors heralding its arrival after the long, dark nights of Winter.  The magnolia tree sitting on the southeast corner of the block occupied by the library will be a part of this yearly ritual as it has been doing for over 80 years.

According to the marker placed near the base of the tree last year by the Poplar Bluff Garden Club, it was planted in 1930 upon the completion of the Poplar Bluff Hospital by Dr. H. M. Henrickson.

This historic tree has stood by seeing the rise of the original portion of the library (completed in 1936) and two major renovations while also outliving the Poplar Bluff Hospital building which was demolished in 1994 and the Henrickson Clinic that was also located on this block.

If you have family in Poplar Bluff or connections to the city's past, how many of them have walked or driven by this tree over the years?  Maybe they were visiting someone in the old Poplar Bluff Hospital and on a hot summer day enjoyed its shade.  Or possibly some energetic children were chasing one another around the trunk playing a game of tag or climbing the low limbs while waiting for their parents.  And who knows, maybe one Spring day they stopped to smell the blossoms just as you can on your next visit to the library.

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