Historic Scythe Tree Farm


Stock #: 363883
Type: Postcard
Era: White Border
City: Waterloo
State: New York (NY)
County: Seneca
Publisher: C.T. American Art
Size: 3.5" x 5.5" (9 x 14 cm)

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On the farm now owned by C.L. Schaffer, two miles west of Waterloo and four miles east of Geneva on the traction line, stand the historic Balm of Gillead tree, a living monument to Wyman J. Johnson, who in October 1861 coming from the field hung the scythe he had been using, in this tree then about eight inches in diameter, saying to his mother: "Let it hang there until I return." He enlisted in Company G, 85th New York Regiment at Elmira, October 1861; called into service, November 15, 1861, and after serving in fifteen engagements was wounded at New Berne, NC, April 20, 1864, and died at Raleigh hospital, May 22, 1864, having been promoted to Fourth Sergeant. This living monument, after fifty-seven years, now waves its mammoth branches to a height of 100 feet and has a spread of over 100 feet, and the trunk measures more than fifteen feet in circumference, with only six inches of the scythe now protruding and pointing toward his unmarked southern grave. The women of Tyler J. Snyder Relief Corps, No. 78, Waterloo, NY, now keep the Stars and Stripes continually floating over the scythe

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