What's the Story Behind the Avery Oak?
We answer the questions burning on your minds about bothersome issues, local mysteries or anything else you can come up with.
It's pounded every other Thursday by the chair of the Board of Selectmen, but the roots of the gavel and sound block were once deep in the ground for several hundred years.
The Avery Oak predates the 1636 founding of Dedham with a long, rich history - for a tree anyway.
Historic articles report the tree once served as a meeting and praying location for early settlers of Dedham at its East Street location.
The tree has many stories to tell - from its selection to be used on a U.S. Navy ship to the beginning of the tree's demise during a 1938 hurricane. The Dedham Historical Society, which owned rights to the tree tried to repair it and keep it intact, and it did for several decades.
A thunderstorm in the 1970s did in the tree, and the town decided to preserve the history of the tree by using it in the selectmen's gavel.