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World-famous Hanover elm to be honored with historical marker

SILVER CREEK – A ceremony unveiling a New York State historical marker for the world-famous Hanover elm tree will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 7 at Hanover Town Hall.

Town Historian Vincent Martonis will host the ceremony and provide information about the tree that, when felled by winds in 1938, was believed to be 400 years old and the largest tree east of the Rocky Mountains. A slice of the tree cut 54 feet from the base is 14½ feet in circumference and on display in Town Hall.

Three slices of the three were removed by Everett Burmaster of Irving, former curator at the Buffalo Museum of Science. The slice on display in Town Hall was decorated in 1941 with 33 historical oil paintings by Seneca artist Sanford Plummer, who also was a staff artist for the Buffalo museum.

According to the historian, Jason Knapp, owner of the land where the tree grew, refused an offer from Buffalo’s Pan American Expo in 1901 to buy the giant elm.

The historic marker then will be moved to Route 39 and Hanover Road later on in November. The elm rose about a quarter-mile south of that intersection, on Hanover Road.