John S. Battle Students Learn about Local History

Students stand in front of a tree.On March 31, students in Ms. Sarah Sanders’s U.S. history classes traveled to Sugar Hollow Park, to the “Resting Tree,” to learn some local history. The “Resting Tree” was at one time located on the Preston plantation.

Two times a day, Preston’s slaves were allowed to rest under the shade of this tree, which is anywhere from 300-700 years old. Local lore states that the first grave was placed there around 1798, a young slave boy known as “Crippled Dan.” Dan was born with deformed feet, which prevented him from working. Preston, a benevolent master, allowed Dan to live on the plantation despite his inability to work. When Dan died of what was most likely pneumonia, a slave known as “Old Rube” pled with Preston to allow Dan to be buried under the shade of the tree he loved so much. From that point forward, all of the Prestons’ slaves, and even some descendants, were buried near the tree.  Only a few of the graves are marked. The students enjoyed this opportunity to relate what they learned in class with the history of Washington County.

Contact Person: 
Sarah Sander