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At the intersection of Dearing Street and Finley Street, in a quiet residential neighborhood near downtown Athens, stands a white oak tree that might be the strangest property owner in the world. For nearly two centuries, this tree is believed to have owned itself and a small patch of land surrounding its base.

The story of its ownership goes back to 1890 when it was first reported in a local newspaper. According to the article published, the property originally belonged to one Colonel William Henry Jackson, who had such true love for the tree, that he devised a way that would ensure the tree survived long after he was gone. So sometime between 1820 and 1832, Col. Jackson prepared a deed that transferred the tree’s ownership to itself and all of the land within eight feet of its trunk on all sides.

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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