On December 8th 1998, QHS, together with the Parks Department, Flushing Savings Bank celebrated permanence and change, as well as dignity and grace, miraculously embodied in the life of a tree. After declaring the 151-year-old tree dead it was mourned in a memorial service.
Flushing's landmarked 151yearold Weeping Beech was noble...and beautiful even in its twilight. Most of all, the tree was testament that its immortality is with its offspring, the little beeches growing up around its trunk ("Sons of a Beech").
We all love to tell the story of this mother of all the weeping beeches in the United States: It was carried here as a slip from Belgium by nurseryman Samuel Bowne Parsons in 1847 and planted in or near his nowfamous nursery, where it grew and thrived to this day, grew to become one of New York's two living landmarks. We at QHS also love to tell how the Kingsland Homestead and the Historical Society came to reside together beside the famous tree. The home, of course, was saved by being moved next door to the tree in September 1968 we all know that and the Society was founded only two months later, almost under the shelter of the tree.
Return to Queens Historical Society
Last revised March 16 1999
by David Goldfarb