The Tree That Owns Itself
When I first visited Athens my junior year of high school as a prospective UGA student, my mother couldn't stop talking about a tree that we had to go see. We all know parents can be a little strange, but this seemed like an odd request even for a mom. She had read somewhere about a tree in Athens, Georgia that actually owns itself. Of course we had to check it out.
Sure enough, at the corner of Finley Street and Dearing Street, about a block off of Broad Street, stands an oak tree with a sign that deeds it to itself. Technically, the tree that stands there today grew from an acorn of the original tree, which fell in 1942. However, the history is still there. Legend has it that in the early 1800s, out of love for a great oak on his property, Professor William H. Jackson deeded to the tree ownership of itself and the land within eight feet of it on all sides to itself. The tree's property rights have never been questioned.
If you have some extra time, the tree is worth seeing. After all, this is the only tree in the world that actually owns itself.
university of georgia
located on 615 acres in downtown athens the university of georgia dominates the economy and culture of the city. UGA was chartered in 1785 by abraham baldwin and is the first state chartered university in the united states. originally called franklin college UGA opened in 1801. UGA's first president was josiah meigs. the reverend robert findley was also a president of UGA. the university was closed between 1863 and 1866 due to the civil war. of interest to the tourist is it's beautiful campus and neo classical architecture. in the fall of each year athens is invaded by tens of thousands of georgia football fans for home football games. a word of warning, if by chance you visit athens on a football weekend it will be impossible to find a hotel room. go "dawgs" !
Famous UGA graduates
The current Lt. Governor, Mark Taylor, and Speaker of the House, Tom Murphy, are also UGA alumni, as is Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox. Many members of the Georgia General Assembly also graduated from UGA. U.S. Senator Zell Miller is a UGA graduate, and three of Georgia’s 11 U.S. congressmen also hold University of Georgia degrees. They are Reps. John (Jack) Kingston, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson;
Dr. Abdul Karim Ali Al-Eryani, prime minister of Yemen; Bill Anderson, country music recording artist and television personality; Dan Amos, CEO of AFLAC; Robert Benham, the first African American appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court and the first to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; James Blanchard, CEO and chairman, Synovus Financial Corp.; D.W. Brooks, founder of Gold Kist, Inc., and advisor to seven U.S. presidents; A.D. “Pete” Correll, chairman and CEO of Georgia-Pacific Corp.; Thomas G. Cousins, chairman and chief executive officer of Cousins Properties of Atlanta; U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw of Jacksonville, Fla.; Terrell Davis, star running back of the Superbowl Champion Denver Broncos; Mike Edwards, senior writer for the National Geographic Society; Teresa Edwards, one of the world’s premier female basketball players and the only American basketball player to participate in five Olympic Games; Dr. Horace Fleming, president of the University of Southern Mississippi; U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas; Dewey Grantham, noted historian of the South; Lewis Grizzard, syndicated newspaper columnist, humorist and author; John Huey, managing editor of Fortune magazine; Raymond Hughes, chorus master of the Metropolitan Opera; Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN International bureau chief in Johannesburg, South Africa; M. Douglas Ivester, former chairman and chief executive officer, Coca-Cola Co.; W. Thomas Johnson, former chairman of the Cable News Network News Group; W. Randall “Randy” Jones, chief executive officer of Capital Publishing Inc. and founder of Worth magazine; Monty Markham, television and film actor; Robert McTeer, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Eugene H. Methvin, senior editor of Reader’s Digest; Dr. William C. Merwin, president of Salisbury State University; Pat Mitchell, president of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); Hala Moddelmog, president of Churchs Chicken; Julie Moran, former ABC sports reporter, weekend host of “Entertainment Tonight;” Bryan Mundy, co-founder and chairman of EzGov. com; television journalist Deborah Norville; William P. (Billy) Payne, president and chief executive officer of The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, which managed the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta; Deborah Roberts, producer and correspondent for ABC News; Charles S. Sanford Jr., retired chairman and chief executive officer, Bankers Trust of New York; Dr. Anne Firor Scott, one of America’s leading female historians; Charles Wadsworth, creator of the chamber music element in Italy’s famed Spoleto Festival and director of chamber music programming at New York’s Lincoln Center; and novelists Philip Lee Williams and Stuart Woods.