When a tornado ripped through Wethersfield in 2009, it damaged houses and tore down trees, including one of the largest trees in the green of Old Wethersfield.
A logging company from Canada had been brought in to clear fallen trees, which would be turned into woodchips. That is what would have happened to the massive nearly 85-year-old tree, pulled by the roots from ground, had it not been for a local man.
Chris Hall had seen benches made from oak trees during his many trips to Europe and knew he could do something similar in his own home town.
The tree was moved to another volunteer’s yard. Over a period of two years – weather permitting -- Hall worked, chainsaw and chisel in hand, until the massive oak was transformed into a 4-feet tall, 11-feet long bench.
“It’d be a waste not to do it,” said Hall, who works is a freelance photographer for NBC Connecticut. “It just had to be done.”
So now, a tree that fell in that 1.7 mile stretch of land damaged by the storm has been preserved and sits right where the living tree had stood and provided shade for decades.
The hand-crafted bench will be dedicated during the annual corn festival, which happens on Sept. 17.