Jan 14



At 404 Baltimore Street is a large sycamore tree that was a witness to the Battle of Gettysburg and many events since the battle. It is located near the corner of Baltimore Street and Lefever Street. The building to the right (east) of the tree was the John Winebrenner House at the time of the battle. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.

There are two Gettysburg Witness Trees still growing on the east side of Baltimore Street. We have previously featured the tree in “Alumni Park” that has a plaque near it. Today we are featuring another tree, approximately 50 yards away from the previous tree. It is a nondescript tree without a plaque on the ground or a tag in the trunk, and many people walk past it every day not knowing that it was present at some significant events.



The John Winebrenner House is to the left of the Sycamore Tree in this photograph. Sycamore trees typically grow on bottomlands, floodplains, and on the banks of streams, such as Winebrenner’s Run, which used to run in this area before it was covered over. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.



Although not the tallest trees in the eastern United States, Sycamores probably have the largest diameter of trees in the eastern United States. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.



Frequently, the trunk of a Sycamore will be divide into several large, secondary trunks. The bark of the Sycamore is perhaps its most distinguishing feature. The surface becomes a creamy white and brown with the darker bark of older trees peeling away from the lighter-colored, younger bark. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.



This twilight view shows the profiles of the two Baltimore Street sycamore trees. The tree that we are featuring today on the east side of Baltimore Street to the right of the yellow colored fence. The sycamore tree we have previously featured is also on the east side of the road on the other (south) side of the white picket fence. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.



There used to be two sycamore trees in this location. The sycamore tree that we are featuring today is on the left. The yellow picket fence is indented, or was built to conform to the tree. You’ll also notice that the picket fence on the right near the corner of Baltimore Street and Lefever Street is also indented. Until approximately three years ago, there was another sycamore tree (witness tree) in that location until a utility company’s actions led to its demise. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, January 11, 2009.



That sycamore tree (witness tree) had to be removed, however, and this smaller tree has been planted in the same location. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, January 11, 2009.



The two sycamore trees (witness trees) that stood near the John Winebrenner House for many years later gave it another name… This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, January 11, 2009.



… Twin Sycamores. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.



This tree witnessed the retreat of United States troops moving south on the afternoon of July 1, 1863… This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.



This sycamore witnessed President Abraham Lincoln riding left to right (north to south) on his way to give his Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863. The Farnsworth House (Sweney House) is on the right. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, January 11, 2009.



It witnessed severe skirmishing between Confederates on this south side of town versus United States soldiers in the Cemetery Hill area on all three days of the battle. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.



It would be nice if it’s still here when the newly planted tree matures. Not that most of us will be here to see it. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.

See our previous posts on Gettysburg Witness Trees:

Pender Witness Tree Area on April 30, 2008,
Gibbon Witness Tree on May 27, 2008,
Honey Locust Tree Damage on August 10, 2008,
Sickles Witness Fence Damage on August 12, 2008,
McPherson Woods Witness Trees on August 16, 2008,
Arkansas Monument Witness Tree on August 27, 2008.
Farnsworth Charge Witness Tree on September 8, 2008.
Did the National Park Service Cut Down a Witness Tree? on October 19, 2008,
Sickles’ Witness Tree on November 10, 2008.
Abraham Lincoln Baltimore Street Witness Tree on November 19, 2008.
Henry Heth Wounding Tree Stump on November 28, 2008.
Culp’s Hill Witness Tree: Split by an Artillery Shell? on November 30, 2008.
Culp’s Hill Witness Tree: Photographed by M.B. Brady and Company on December 5, 2008.
National Cemetery Witness Tree, Sickles Witness Fence Update on December 10, 2008.


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