Isle of Hope. I am enchanted by that name. You might think it’s a fictitious place, but it is very real and also historic. The Isle of Hope is about eight miles south of Savannah, Georgia. On this narrow strip of land lies Wormsloe State Historic Site. In 1737, Noble Jones built his homestead here and raised a variety of crops. Jones died in 1775 and left the estate to his daughter who later passed it on to her brother, Noble Wimberly Jones. The younger Jones, who also was a doctor, became a major figure in Georgia colonial history and was friends with Benjamin Franklin. During the Revolutionary War, Wormsloe was burnt down by British forces, and Jones was imprisoned in St. Augustine along with three signers of the Declaration of Independence. After several months, he was released and resumed his medical career. Dr. Jones built another home at Wormsloe and planted a grand garden. Many subsequent descendants lived at Wormsloe throughout the Civil War and into the mid-1900s. Dr. Jones’ grandson came to live at Wormsloe in 1893 and planted more than four hundred live oak trees. Wormsloe remained in the family’s possession until 1972 when they donated the land to the Nature Conservancy.
I love history, but I came to Wormsloe for the trees. Live oaks amaze me. Their grand appearance on either side of the main entrance roadway is quite astounding. It is like entering a cathedral of trees, green and lush and brilliantly quiet except for the songbirds in spring. The oaks lean in reaching towards each other creating a leafy archway, and there is Spanish moss hanging in long tendrils from almost every branch.
I have long hand an affinity for trees. They are steadfast and sturdy. During my childhood they have served as both a refuge and a palace for my imagination. Now, walking down the roadway under these live oaks, they offer solace and respite from the all-too-busy world. I revel in the greenery, luxuriate in the canopy of solitude. Here, I feel cradled and secure.
More to Read on Wormsloe
- Captain Jones’s Wormslow by William M. Kelso
- Remaking Wormsloe Plantation by Drew A. Swanson
- Wormsloe House and Its Masters by Robert Preston Brooks
Books About Trees for Kids
- A Tree for All Seasons by Robin Bernard
- A Tree is Nice by Janice May
- Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel
- Red Sings from Treetops by Sidman
- Tell Me, Tree: All about Trees for Kids by Gail Gibbons
- The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- The Hugging Tree: A Story About Resilience by Jill Neimark
- The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
- The Magic and Mystery of Trees by Jen Green
- The Red Tree by Shaun Tan
- The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear
- Tree Full of Wonder by Anna Smithers
- Wise Trees by Diane Cook