Our Tree has come Home

07/08/13 2:29 PM


Belle Grove Plantation

March 2013 – With our 200 year old Mulberry Tree

As most of you know that follow our blog, we had to cut down four of our trees on the plantation this year. It was a heart-breaking task because one of those trees was a 200 year old Mulberry. This tree stood here for 200 years and witness many of the historic events at the plantation. It was even standing when James Madison was alive.

Before we cut them down, we did look around for a good use of the wood. I just didn’t want to have it end there. I wanted to respect them and have their wood be something of value. In my search and thanks to one reader of our blog, we came into contact with two woodworkers who treasure “Witness Trees” and who work hard to preserve them. One woodworker is local to us and has taken a large trunk section to be milled and worked into a colonial style table for the mansion. The other woodworker is from New Jersey. He took several of the limbs and will be turning them into beautiful historic pens for us. Most of the wood is currently drying, but The Historic Pen Company was able to dry some of the wood through a faster method so they could produce a few pens now.

Today, I was surprised by a package. When I opened it, I was thrilled to find one of these Historic Pens. 









Made from the 200 year old Mulberry Tree and engraved with our name and that of James Madison,

this pen will now sit proudly in our Grand Hallway for all to see.

My heart is truly thankful and tears fill my eyes as I look on this pen knowing that our tree has finally come home.

Bob DeMartino

Bob DeMartino


John Greco

Thank you so much to Bob DeMartino of the Historic Pen Company and to John Greco the Master Woodworker who turned our tree wood into a beautiful reminder of what history we have at Belle Grove Plantation!



To get your own Historic Pen made from our 200 year old Mulberry Tree

Please visit our Online Store on our Official Website!

Home Page


Part of the funds raised from the sell of these pens will benefit our 1720 Summer Kitchen, Ice House and Smokehouse!

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Belle Grove History, Darnell History | 21 Comments »

21 Comments on “Our Tree has come Home”

  1. stretchmoney Says:

    What a great use of an old tree! Although losing one of the trees on my property will not have the historic significance that yours does, I will think about possibly repurposing any old oak or cedar tree that comes down because of storms, etc. Thanks for sharing!

  2. You really should! It is a touching way of showing how much they mean to us.

  3. John Says:


  4. 🙂

  5. nerdtrips Says:

    That is cool! What a great way to remember a proud tree.

  6. It is just so special!

  7. Elephant Says:

    I am glad your tree got a second life. It sat nicely in front and I am sure it changed the place greatly to lose it. Have you planted a new tree?

  8. It does look so different without it. It makes the house look larger! We have planted 11 trees this year.

  9. fozziemum Says:

    What a wonderful idea!! I like you really feel that to honour our past is so important..before we moved from our last house I went to the local mill..i grabbed a sad and very unloved piece of local very old wood…while the house was on the market I spent days hand sanding this piece of wood..the more I sanded the smells became amazing..while I sanded I thought about our move,why we were moving and what I wanted our new much larger property to represent..i found the name Samovila ..protectress of all woodland creatures..when finished I painted the name on and stained it..the day we put the sign up we had a family of four wedge -tailed eagles soar low and watch us as we worked..we took a piece of our past with us and it is a constant reminder.

  10. Aw that is just wonderful!!

  11. fozziemum Says:

    Thanks 🙂

  12. Terry Says:

    that made my heart beat a little faster at seeing a part of history in that pen. love it, so stylish, so personable

  13. Thank you! It was so nice to see it again.

  14. Jen Says:

    Ohhh, it’s marvellous! And I’m so glad it’ll be in the main hall for everyone to wonder over. It’s good to hear your tree is back where it belongs, especially since having to bring it down affected you so deeply. 🙂 *hug*

  15. Thank you Jen! ((Hugs)) back at you!

  16. v4vikey Says:

    Nice and Beautiful.

  17. Thank you!

  18. Such a beautiful homecoming! As sad as it was to lose the tree, it would have been worse to have wasted it. Bravo to those artisans. They did a fantastic job.

  19. Thank you! They really did do a great job!

  20. This is so terrific. I love wood products–renewable natural resources should be cherished and used so more trees continue to be planted. God bless.

  21. I total agree! Thank you!