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History of Angel Oak

Angel Oak

Angel Oak | Photo by @walkswithbeans

Angel Oak’s history spans 400-500 years. The famous tree is believed to be the largest live oak and oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River — standing 65 feet tall + 25 feet wide and providing 17,000 square feet of shade.

The land’s ownership can be traced back to the Cussoe tribe until it was sold in 1675. The oak was later named after Justus and Martha Angel, whose family owned the land from the early 1700s to the mid-1900s.

Angel Oak

Angel Oak | Photo by @billy_ellison

The tree was visited by famous civil rights activist Septima Clark + many other Black families during segregation (1860s-1960s). In 1991, the City of Charleston bought the land from the Angel family + locals successfully fought to preserve the area.

Angel Oak has endured countless hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods over the past half-century, but it perseveres today. The historic tree can be found in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island and is free to visit.

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