Commonwealth Journal

Features

July 18, 2012

‘Hanging trees’ not uncommon in Pulaski

Somerset —  

Recent stories about hanging trees continue to generate more talk about ghastly limbs from which outlaws paid their debt to society. The lawless lynchings are shrouded in mists of passing time as are ghost stories and flying saucer landings.
Nothing unusual. Rare is a community that backward glimpses do not conjure images of pioneer justice that lingered not in legalese; of ghosts in the past; even visitors from out in space.
The Somerset area has two, maybe three hanging trees. Also, there are ghostly places aplenty, including the Commonwealth Journal building. And if you don’t believe flying saucers have landed in Pulaski County you are a “foreigner.”
Have you ever ridden near midnight in a two-horse wagon up Fishing Creek Hill toward town? Maybe not the younger generation. They, with cell phones and iPads, have no reason to be out late at night. They text each other from the comfort of home.
 But old-timers, who labored their team of mules across the creek and up the hill at the midnight hour would sense a rider in the wagon. A friendly sort, not talkative, he only wanted a lift up the hill.
However, many times; matter of fact, most times, the live man in the wagon would bail out on the run, leaving his team and wagon in the invisible hands of the flimsy hitchhiker. In those days, 9-1-1 didn’t exist and the few law-enforcement officers had gone in and gone to bed.
As soon as we regain our composure we’ll tell another ghost story, but now, about those hanging trees.
Pamela Picard, an aide at Crestview Personal Care Home on Richardson Drive, sent us photos of a gnarled oak tree in the old Sinking Creek Cemetery. The tree blew down in a windstorm a week or so ago.

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