Environmentalism Began, Page 2|
by Bob Bowman
"The County Line
General Sam Houston Cypress
1..... Douglas asked
to see a 1,000-year-old magnolia tree, a prize attraction in the Big
Thicket, known as "the county line magnolia" because of its
location at the intersection of Polk, Hardin and Liberty counties.|
the tree was deliberately killed by an injection of a metallic poison before Douglas
arrived. The assassin's identity was never discovered. Douglas grieved over the
ragged remnants of the tree and his concerns set off a storm of protests in the
Beaumont area, fueling the campaign to create a national preserve. Some proponents
of the preserve blamed timbermen for the tree's death.
Douglas also saw
another large tree -- this one also doomed, but for a different reason.
McEloy carried Douglas deep into the Sabine River bottomlands to the old community
of East Hamilton to see the General Sam Houston Cypress, one of the largest
such trees in East Texas.
The tree was later cut because it stood in
the path of Toledo
December 16-22 , 2001
Published by permission.
Bob Bowman is a former president
of the East Texas Historical Society and the author of 28 books on East Texas
history and folklore.
Trees of Texas