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Willows From Grave
SALMON PONDS RELIC
While thousands of people who visit the Salmon Ponds at Plenty each year admire the graceful beauty of the weeping willows, which provide shade and shelter In the grounds, few prob- ably realise that the trees are direct- ly linked with one of the greatest na- tional figures the world has known.
There ls almost complete evidence to establish a direct link between the trees with the willows planted at the grave of the famous French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, at St. Helena. This historical feature, which is known to few people in Tasmania, has been revived recently by tho publication ot a letter in "The Times" in which Mr. W. A. Elliott stated that among old family papers from Australia he found the following:
"In the early days Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Bryant, who lived near New Norfolk, were invited by the cap- tain ot a ship In port at Hobart Town to lunch. As his guests were leaving the captain expressed regret at not having a souvenir to give to Mrs. Bryant, adding, 'The only things I can" offer you are these wil- low sticks. I cut them oft the wil- low at Napoleon's grave when we put in at St. Helena." The willow sticks were, withered and apparently nulle dry, but Mrs. Bryant, on re- turning home stuck them along the bank of tho river, nnd they nre now those glorious willows dipping into the Derwent near Salmon rónds."
Mi. and Mrs. Bryant resided at Red- lands Estate, Plenty, In the early '20's ot last century, nnd that time the Salmon Ponds formed part ot the es- tate. The owner'ot tho property was the late. Mr. G. F. Head, grandfather ol' Dr. G. F. Bead, of Now Norfolk. Alore than'-100 years ago two weeping . wil- low trees were' planted in tho front garden ot the Redlands" homestead, nnd there ls every reason. to believe the trees.were' placed there hy Mrs.1 Bry- ant ntter she and her husband had visited the sea captain. The original trees,, remained in tho .gnrden until about 1900, when because of their huge size they, had to: be removed. Although the River Derwent ls lined with'hun- dreds ot beautiful willows from Now Norfolk? upstream to ,beyond Plenty and Macquarie Plains, there nre few of the weeping variety along the banks.
Tho huge willow, which stands In the Salmon Tonds ground to1 the left of the. main entrance was planted about 30 years ago, and wns taken from tho stock of one ot the trees which stood
in the gnrden at Redlands, lt ls, there- fore, a. direct, descendant nt the tree at the grave ot tho famous Emperor,
Lachlan Park Trees
Among the ninny beautiful weeping willows in New Norfolk aro two trees
which', lt ls claimed, also were estab- lished from slips from Napoleon's grave, at St. Helena. The trees aro In a square within the entrance ot Lachlan Park Hospital. Originally tho hospital was a military barracks, and the willow trees were planted by Lady Franklin on a visit tn Now Nor- folk In .1837. Fifty,years ago the trees were almost , ns tall as they are to
(lay, nil«! limy have been lopper! ' fre- quently In order to extend their life. The trees are among the largest and most graceful willows In the Slate, and are greatly cherished by the auth- orities.
Trees At Waterworks Rd.
To the Editor of "The Mercury"
Slr,-Further to the correspondence concerning willows from St. Helena being planted in Tnsmania, it Is inter- esting to note that DO years ago some trees growing al Aplon, Waterworks Rd., were alleged to hn.ve been brought from Napoleon's grave at St. Helena.
The property, which I« just across the creek beyond the end of Davey St., was an attractive one In picturesque sur- roundings. It was occupied in turn by Messrs. A. T. Anderson, W. T. Handley, and H. Barclay. A row of tall poplar trees fringed the creek nt the bottom of the garden. I do not know of any willows, but there may have been some at nn earlier date.
The story, however, lends credence lo the opinion that St. Helena trees ot some sort were brought to Hobart. Per- haps some other reader knows more ot the earlier history of the property, and if the story of the trees is correct.
New Town. E. W. HANDLEY.