Thursday, April 5, 2012
The Preacher’s Corner
Oh, the aroma of linden trees in the spring
Last week, I wrote in this column about the linden trees that you see at various locations in Holly Springs. They were planted in the 19th century by Mayor Henry E. Williamson. You can still see them in the yard at “Linden Terrace,” across from the Marshall County Historical Museum.
Mayor Williamson wanted to make Holly Springs “a city of trees,” and he planted the lindens that still surround his home, as well as in a lovely little park at the Holly Springs Female Institute, which was where the new Holly Springs High School is now.
I got interested in linden trees because of a trip I made to St. Louis last year with my friend, the Rev. Frank Brooks of Corinth. Frank was trying to find a linden tree, and none was available in a local nursery. So we ended up scouting out nurseries all over suburban St. Louis and bringing one back stuffed in the middle of the front seat of Frank’s car. Anyone who knows Frank knows that when you travel with him, some sort of unusual plant or tree is going to be transported!
In response to the earlier column (originally published several years ago), I received the following interesting letter from the late Billy Akins, who grew up in Holly Springs and moved to Bolivar, Tenn. His family lived in the house called “Linden Hill,” which stands on Van Dorn Avenue:
“This week’s linden tree topic caught my immediate attention, as the great European linden stood tall 60 years ago when my father purchased the property. In the early 1970s, my dear friend Charles Dean assured me that if the veranda porch of 1900 were removed we would find the studs and pillar bricks for a typical 1841 colonial porch. The work was done under mine and Charles’ close watch. ‘Eureka,’ the beautiful columned porch, and I named the house ‘Linden Hill.’
“Back to the linden trees in Holly Springs. They are European lindens as opposed to dull American lindens. You may remember Steven Smith who bought the house and now has moved to New Orleans. Steven called me one day saying that he had bought several linden trees and wanted permission to plant one at ‘Montrose’ in memory of my dear mother. This was done, and the tree is thriving.”
Linden trees, Billy informed me, may be purchased at the Touliatos Tree Nursery on Brooks Road in Memphis.
The European linden has a wonderful aroma. I remember the distinctive scent well, because my grandparents’ home in Memphis was on Linden Avenue in Memphis. That wonderful old street was a special place for me, but I did not realize then that the aroma in spring was from the linden trees.
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