There is a stately post oak tree whose majestic branches have presided over the grounds of the Garland County Courthouse for as long as folks can remember. The courthouse tree is also known as the “Ed B. Mooney Tree” so named in 1961 after the gentleman who in 1913 saved the tree from a devastating fire. The tree suffered great damage but Mr. Mooney made sure it was pruned well and nurtured back to health. No one is quite sure how long this grand old tree has stood firm but it was estimated to have been about 30 years old in 1913 which puts its current age at around 130 – 135 years. This handsome oak has borne witness to many historical events throughout the years. Be it fires, floods or festivals, presidents or prohibition, in dark days and sunny, this dear oak has seen its fellow citizens through the turn of two centuries. The courthouse oak was recognized as an Arkansas Famous and Historic Tree on April 25, 2003.
Arkansas artist, Linda Palmer has focused primarily on interpreting and celebrating the varied facets of Arkansas landscapes for the last twenty-five years. Working with colored pencils and oils, Palmer brings a delicate sensibility to her work that results in powerful compositions based upon elements of nature. For the last few years, she has been locating, photographing, and drawing the Champion Trees of Arkansas. While working on this project, Palmer also noticed the list of Historic Trees of Arkansas and was interested to find the Courthouse Oak in Hot Springs on that list. Palmer’s drawing “The Courthouse Oak” represents the oak in early spring before the leaves have come out in order to showcase the historic courthouse.
Palmer is a Signature Member of THE COLORED PENCIL SOCIETY OF AMERICA and her artwork has been consistently accepted in state and national juried exhibitions. She has exhibited in the United States, Germany and China. You may view her art at 800-B Central Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas. http://lindawilliamspalmer.com