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Luzerne County receives Liberty Tree

Members of the Pennslvania Freemasons and the America250PA commission dedicated Luzerne County's Liberty Tree on Saturday at the Wyoming Monument.
Sarah Scinto
/
WVIA News
Members of the Pennslvania Freemasons and the America250PA commission dedicated Luzerne County's Liberty Tree on Saturday at the Wyoming Monument.

When the American Revolution was just an idea, the Sons of Liberty gathered to discuss their plans under the branches of towering trees throughout the colonies.

A seedling of one of those Liberty Trees, a tulip poplar that once stood in Annapolis, Maryland, now grows beside a monument to the Battle of Wyoming in Luzerne County.

“We are planting these trees across the Commonwealth so that in 250 years, folks can look at these trees as a legacy from the 250th anniversary,” said Cassandra Coleman, executive director of America250PA.

America250PA is Pennsylvania’s commission preparing events to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the United States’ founding in 2026.

Along with the Pennsylvania Freemasons, they have set out to plant a Liberty Tree in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania by the anniversary.

Luzerne County was the fifth county to receive a Liberty Tree as of the dedication on Saturday, Oct. 22. It was a homecoming for Coleman, who was “born and raised” in Exeter borough.

“For me, this is home,” she said.

American Revolution reenactors from the 24th Connecticut Militia fired a rifle volley at the end of the dedication. Militia member Mark Kahn of West Wyoming said seeing the new Liberty Tree was like seeing a part of “the beginning of America.”

“As a reenactor, being around and seeing something, if you want to call it original, just gives you a feeling of… you can’t describe it,” he said.

Monroe County was next on Coleman’s list for The Liberty Tree Project. Then, she said, the project will go on hold until the spring when they can continue planting.

Monroe County's Liberty Tree will be dedicated on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. at the Old Mill at Sciota in Stroudsburg, Coleman said.

For more upcoming projects by the American250PA commission, visit america250pa.org.

Sarah Scinto is the local host of Morning Edition on WVIA. She is a Connecticut native and graduate of King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, and has previously covered Northeastern Pennsylvania for The Scranton Times-Tribune, The Citizens’ Voice and Greater Pittston Progress.