From today’s Sentinel:

Wood saved from historic oak trees
By Bobby Moore
Staff Writer

Wood has been preserved from two oak trees which were cut down Monday on the grounds of the Old Courthouse after being deemed safety hazards by arborists.

The trees were planted following World War I.

Local historians now plan to make some type of commemorative item for the Old Courthouse using the salvaged wood.

The trees were two of five oaks originally planted as a tribute to World War I veterans. One of the trees was located in front of the Old Courthouse and was hollow on the inside. The other, located behind the building, was splitting down the middle and located dangerously close to power lines and Church Street.

Officials said one arborist indicated that these trees may have been dead since a fire destroyed a previous courthouse facility over 50 years ago.

Joe Phillips, Old Courthouse board of directors CEO, said some wood was saved from these trees, but he is unsure how much of it is salvageable.

“We need assistance in determining how much usable wood is left before we can consider what we are going to make with it,” Phillips said.

According to Phillips, a commemorative item ranging in size from a bowl to a bench will be constructed depending on how much of the salvaged wood is usable.

“We’ll need a local craftsman-level wood turner or a sawmill, depending on what we make.” Phillips added.

Phillips hopes enough dried and seasoned wood will be available for construction of a bench. “It’s something with size and substance, and it certainly is usable,” he said.