Historic tree, plaque removed from Balboa Park.

A historic tree that once stood at the center of Balboa Park's International Cottages has been cut down.
A historic tree that once stood at the center of Balboa Park’s International Cottages has been cut down.

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 . . .

UPDATE!

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!

A photo of the old shady tree as it once lived in Balboa Park. It was removed one day and now it's gone.
A photo of the shady tree as it once lived in Balboa Park. It was removed one fateful day and now it’s gone.
Someone stands on the stump of the tree during a lawn program at the International Cottages.
Someone stands on the stump of the tree during a recent lawn program at the International Cottages.
Shortly after the tree was cut down, the plaque still remained.
Shortly after the tree was cut down, the plaque still remained.
Dedicated in Honor of Arthur E. Vest, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, by the Womans Relief Corps Department of California and Nevada, May 16, 1932.
Dedicated in Honor of Arthur E. Vest, Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, by the Woman’s Relief Corps Department of California and Nevada, May 16, 1932.
And now the plaque is gone, too. A bit of history vanishes.
And now the plaque and its words have been removed, too. A bit of San Diego history is gone.

I live in downtown San Diego. I do my best to keep my eyes wide open as I walk.

You can follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

6 thoughts on “Historic tree, plaque removed from Balboa Park.”

  1. Well, that’s sad… when I first read your title, I was so afraid it was the Moreton Bay Fig Tree. I remember when it was un-fenced and kids could climb it. I was so afraid it was removed, I was going to cry. Although, any tree removed from that beautiful park is a loss. Miss Balboa Park so much, it was my get away spot several times a month. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

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