OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

The roots of history branch out

Posted on: June 11th, 2014 by Madeline MacGregor in News & Press |

Help celebrate the Aurora Colony Black Walnut Heritage Tree dedication

On Sunday, June 22, 2014, at 2:30 p.m., the third tree in the Class of 2014 Oregon Heritage Trees series will be honored with a ceremony in historic Aurora, Oregon.

The historic Christian Zimmerman House (located at 21514 Liberty St NE) and its current owner Brian Asher, will play host to the ceremony. The honoree, the Aurora Colony Black Walnut Heritage Tree, was planted over 130 years ago by colony carpenter Christian Zimmerman.

Christian and his wife Catherine Will Zimmerman were prominent members of the Oregon Aurora Colony founded by Dr. William Keil in 1857.

As a carpenter, Zimmerman helped construct many of the village buildings and homes, and likely planted this particular black walnut (and possibly others like it) for useful hardwood.

Image of Oregon Travel Experience Heritage Tree Program event at Aurora Colony Black Walnut Heritage Tree

To view invite, click image.

Today, the impressive tree retains its direct connection with the Zimmerman family and the Aurora Colony. It serves as a living graceful tie to the historic cooperative community and is the largest black walnut standing in Aurora.

The newly inducted black walnut possesses a few significant statistics: At over a century and a quarter old, the tree’s circumference radiates to 18 feet, stands an imposing 70+ feet tall and boasts a crown spread of 60 feet.

The free ceremony is open to the public and is sponsored by Oregon Travel Experience (OTE) and the Aurora Colony Historical Society.

Members of the Oregon Heritage Tree Committee, local historians, the Aurora Colony Historical Society and OTE officials will moderate the program and give brief presentations.

Oregon Travel Experience (OTE) oversees the official Oregon Heritage Tree Program and is a semi-independent state agency located in Salem with a focus on transportation-related services. OTE builds programs that help drive new traffic into nearby communities, contributing to local economic prosperity. The agency manages 29 rest areas across the state, permits highway logo signs and administers to two heritage programs: Heritage Trees and Historical Markers.

For more information about the Oregon Heritage Tree Program, contact Annie von Domitz, Chief Community Assets Officer and OTE Heritage Programs Administrator at 503-373-0864. Von Domitz may be contacted via email as well.

Event participants are invited to attend the 44th Annual Strawberry Social taking place in Aurora the same day. Tickets are available for adults, seniors, students, children and families at the Aurora Colony Historical Society by telephoning 503-678-5754.