Banks And CUs Can't Save Historic'Liberty Tree'

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BROCKTON - (12/17/04) -- Even the proposed collaborationbetween a local bank and credit union couldn't save a 200-year-oldsycamore, marking the spot on the Underground Railroad whereslavery abolitionists gathered to hear speeches. The famouslandmark, known as the 'Liberty Tree,' was felled this week afterSecurity Federal Savings Bank, which owned the property where thetree sat, and adjacent HarborOne CU, as local historicpreservationists couldn't come up with a rescue plan. "We talked tothem (the bank) briefly; we talked to the historical society, butit was beyond repair," Leo McNeil, head of marketing at the creditunion, told The Credit Union Journal. The tree, marking the spotwhere abolitionist Frederick Douglas is said to have addressed thelocals, was cut down. The 300-year-old tree had opened a six-footcrack in its trunk from a recent storm, rot had set in and its hugebranches, which canopied the credit union's parking lot, were indanger of falling. But that doesn’t mean the famous landmarkwill die off, as local historians were seen gathering up pieces andothers were said to be selling them as memorabilia, saidMcNeil.

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