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San Saba County TX
San Saba County

Historic Trees of Texas

The Matrimonial Oak of San Saba County
aka
The Wedding Oak
The Marriage Oak

San Saba, Texas

On China Creek Road,
1 miles N of San Saba

by Luke Warm
The Wedding Oak, San Saba
"The Wedding Oak is a legendary Indian site that was popular into the 1900s. This tree sheltered many marriage services. On December 24, 1911, three marriages took place here." - Photo courtesy Jim & Lou Kinsey, 2003
Also known as the wedding oak, the marriage oak or the matrimonial oak, the legend is that before the settlers arrived, that Indians stood under the tree to be wed and that the tradition was adopted by the settlers. It's a simple story. That's it. Indians and then settlers got married under it.

No ghosts, hangings or mysterious signs carved into the trunk. Just a wedding tree. Outside of San Saba. End of story.
The Matrimonial Oak of San Saba County
After being inspired to visit the tree (perhaps by the Kinsey's photo) photographer-at-large Barclay Gibson made the trip all the way from Carlsbad, New Mexico to photograph the tree.
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2004
Directions:

From San Saba:
Turning north from in front of the San Saba High School, you follow 9th street for 1/4 mile. After turning left onto China Creek Road, proceed about a mile and you'll see the shade provided by the tree.

Photographer Gibson provided another tip:
"The Wedding Oak is right up (down) the road of the Beveridge Suspension Bridge near San Saba. If you've been to the bridge, you've passed under this tree."

Historical Marker:

Wedding Oak

A legendary Indian site, popular into the 1900s, Wedding Oak sheltered many marriage services. Three occurred in one day, Dec. 24, 1911.

Some people have confused this tree with the "Center of Texas Oak" near Mercury in nearby McCulloch County. But although they're both live oaks - they are indeed separate trees with separate stories. (They also happen to be about 40 miles apart.) People who wanted to get married stood under this one - and people (for whatever reason) who wanted to stand in the geographic center of Texas stood under the other one.

This might be a good opportunity to explain a basic difference between folklore and history. Historians would want to see documentation about Indian courtship rituals while folklorists would just say people got married here and leave it at that. If the real truth was known, we might be calling it the "Getting out of the Rain" oak - since that was another tradition shared by both Indian and settler.


(Our thanks to both The Kinseys and Mr. Gibson and if anyone else wants to send in a photo of the tree - we'd love to have one taken from the other side. - Editor)

Anyone wishing to share their wedding stories or information on Indian courtship and marriage, please contact us.

San Saba Wedding Oak, Texas
The other side
Photo courtesy Judy McBride, November 2005
See San Saba, Texas
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