Historic Tree Ruined in Storm Gets New Life

Area woodworker to make a coffee table, three benches and two chairs

One of Wilmette's claims to fame that once towered over the village will live on.

After a July windstorm destroyed the town's bicentennial ash tree, village officials looked for ways to make use of what was once called the oldest green ash tree in the state of Illinois.

And now they've found it.

A woodworker will use pieces of the most famous tree in town for Village Hall office furniture.

Wade Ellis plans to craft a new coffee table, three benches and two chairs, which will find permanent homes on the second floor of the hall.

"I want character.. and looking at this tree I could tell that it had a lot of character," he said.

The tree was 265 years old when wind knocked it over. Measuring 74 inches in diameter, it sat on the village's lakefront and donned a plaque marking its stake in history.

The village's Bicentennial Commission named the tree in 1976.

Of the 20 logs that were saved from the tree, Ellis will only need a few to complete his works of art. The others will go to schools, a museum and other interested parties.

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