I’m sure there must have been a good reason for the tree’s removal. Perhaps it had become unsafe.
According to a bronze plaque, the tree was planted near the center of Balboa Park’s International Cottages in 1932. The tree was dedicated in honor of Arthur E. Vest, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. That historic plaque is now gone, too.
Perhaps someone reading this knows the complete story. If you do, please leave a comment.
I’ve been told by several people from the cottages that one day, a few months ago, a crew from San Diego Parks and Recreation simply cut the big shady tree down. One person that I spoke to today couldn’t provide a specific reason, but thought the tree’s removal had been carefully considered. I do hope so.
Now the tree and its plaque are gone. Just an image in some old photographs . . . or a slowly fading memory . . .
I’ve learned that the oak tree had suffered a beetle infestation and was removed to protect other trees in Balboa Park. The historic plaque has been thankfully preserved. Its new home is the headquarters of the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum in Springfield, Illinois.
To learn more about the tree and the life of Arthur E. Vest, please visit this page of the National Woman’s Relief Corps website!
I live in downtown San Diego. I do my best to keep my eyes wide open as I walk.