Commonwealth Journal


July 18, 2012

‘Hanging trees’ not uncommon in Pulaski


Somerset —

“I’ve been told this is the hanging tree,” said Picard. “The limb from which people were hung broke off in 2000.”
Actually, it’s sort of poetic justice. A tree from where necks snapped in a noose finally gets its comeuppance. Not from a lynch mob, but a puff of wind. Pam has pictures to validate her story.
Curtis Gilliland, a retired mail carrier for the Somerset Post Office, locates a hanging tree a short distance away. He took a reporter for the Commonwealth Journal to the very spot his grandmother had pointed out. It was here a sycamore tree with an accommodating limb substituted for a judge and jury.
 Curtis wondered aloud if one of the weathered trunks lying in the area could be remains of the infamous tree where frontier justice was administered. This was the tree from which were swung two young men accused of shooting a sheriff. Evidence surfaced later they may have been innocent. Curtis has historical records to take away myths that shroud this heinous hanging.
And, then there is a hanging tree in the Parkers Mill area. Name of the unlucky person who made this tree famous is lost in the mists of time, but the event drew a crowd. A few still live who were among the onlookers.
Matter of fact, nothing draws a bigger crowd than a hanging, not even a circus. This writer with tongue firmly in cheek suggested several years ago the best way to revitalize downtown was to stage a hanging on Fountain Square. A Saturday event like this, as untasteful as it is, would fill the town with onlookers. 
With the soon-to-be $1 million renovation of Fountain Square and spacious plaza at Pulaski Court of Justice, a gallows would be nice touch. Suggestion: Hang the rascal early in the day to leave shopping time after justice is served.

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