New National Historical Site to be planted in Cassville

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Liberty tree program, offered through the University of Missouri 4-H Foundation, awarded Barry County 4-H with the opportunity for an active role in preserving American history in Barry County.

Liberty trees, dating back to the Revolutionary war, were once the site of civil discussion in communities. They were the location where townspeople would gather, under the shade, to determine the future of the township through debate. The last original Liberty Tree, a Tulip Poplar, was destroyed in Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Prior to its death, 14 seedlings were successfully germinated from the tree through a project spearheaded by the nonprofit conservation organization American Forests. The seedlings were planted throughout the original 13 colonies.

In order to further preserve the legacy of the Liberty Trees, a bud-grafting program was launched, as a result several bud-grafted trees were grown. Crader Distributing and local STIHL dealers partnered with Missouri’s 4-H Foundation with the goal of preserving American history by distributing saplings throughout Missouri to carry the genetics and the tradition beyond the one site, through the Liberty Tree Program.

"Since 4-H leaders and members represent many of the same patriotic and self-sustaining qualities inherent in America's forefathers, Crader Distributing and local STIHL dealers are delighted to team with Missouri 4-H in the distribution and planting of seedlings from America's last standing Revolutionary era Liberty Tree," said Stan Crader, president of Crader Distributing. "It is our hope that each tree will grow into a highly visible living monument to deep-rooted American values."

Barry County 4-H were successful applicants.

“When the program was presented to the clubs, it was just too great of an opportunity to pass up.” said Reagan Bluel, Barry County 4-H Council reporter. “We selected our county seat, on the courthouse square to honor the original purpose of the Liberty Tree, to gather the community.”

Barry County 4-H council invites all community members to join in the planting celebration and dedication of the Barry County Liberty Tree on Friday at 6:30 p.m. on the courthouse lawn, located at 700 Main St. in Cassville.

Following the planting ceremony, ice cream will be served and a band will preform a short set of patriotic songs. People may bring folding chairs.

“We hope the entire community will join us to celebrate this preservation of history through our local youth.” said Britti Ritchie, Barry County 4-H youth associate.

Barry County 4-H is a program offered though the University of Missouri-Extension. To learn more about the Liberty Tree program, 4-H or any Extension programming please visit the University of Missouri-Extension of Barry County office at 700 Main St., Suite 4 or call 417-847-3161.