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Joyce Kilmer

Old Town Laurel loses historic willow oak

Old Town Laurel loses historic willow oak

Old Town Laurel's oldest resident, one who stood silent witness to the birth of our country, the creation of our town and the growth of the modern world, has died. On Nov. 18, the 250-year-old champion willow oak, located at Park Place on Talbott Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets, succumbed to the rigors of that long life and the stresses of the 21st century, and fell to the saw.

Once, it was just one of many large trees that made up the oak grove that dominated that section of Laurel, and from which the city's historically black neighborhood, the Grove, took its name. In the early-to-mid 20th century, before the integration of professional baseball, the Laurel Stars...