The Akers Tree Legend
As we’ve mentioned before, we have hours and hours of recorded interviews with Boxwell individuals. Indeed, we have so much recorded material, we are literally YEARS behind in getting it transcribed! As you can imagine, recorded interviews have some great stories.
This particular little gem passes on some information many of you might not be aware of about Ward Akers and the original tent platforms. Listen to Tom Willhite explain to Russell Parham how things worked “back in the day.”
Russ: This ties a little bit with Mr. Akers, but is it true that as they were bulldozing the path he was out there telling them what trees to miss? I mean, was he…
Tom: Ward Akers was a real fanatic about trees. He didn’t want any trees trimmed. He liked the overhang of trees into the road. It finally, it eventually got so bad that you couldn’t get a truck, a big semi up through there and they’d knock ‘em off. So, once he retired, we started trimming the trees on the road, some of ‘em, but we always kept the trees growing close up to the road cause that was what… it made the camp look real good. Eventually, we, when it was… when they built the camp, he would tell ‘em, don’t touch that tree! Don’t touch that tree! And we’d, they’d mark ‘em and they’d run the road there into the camp. And the campsites were the same way. When they brought the big old wooden platforms in, back in the early years of ’60, ’59 and ’60, they had to dodge trees and put ‘em in the woods, in the sites, heavy oak platforms is what they had originally.
Russ: Well, did he actually walk in front of bulldozers? I mean, I’ve heard that…
Tom: I’ve heard that story, yeah.
Tom: And over the years, we replaced platforms many, many times and now, of course, all the platforms are the treated wood and last quite a bit longer. The original wood platforms that were put in were the oak, were number one stuff and they lasted a long, long time. Until the early ‘70s. Up in the ‘70s we were still using some of them, cause they were such quality wood. You can’t buy that kind of wood anymore, so we had to go to treated lumber.