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June 30th, 2013 by Samuel Mix

Hadwen Arboretum #6

June 8, 2013

Since the last time I posted, two events have taken place: I went to the famous Arnold Arboretum, and I finally found O.B. Hadwen’s will.

The Arnold Arboretum is located in Jamaica Plain, right outside Boston. One of my friends, Max, came along with me on this day trip. We went into Boston via train, had lunch in Chinatown, and took the subway to the Arnold Arboretum.

We first walked along the rose garden to the visitor center. The grass was well kept and all the trees are labeled with simple little metal plaques. While at the visitor center, I asked the how the Arboretum maintained its grounds, as well as if they had a maintenance master plan. Soon I was led to one of the arboretum technicians– a young woman who was really helpful. She explained to me how the arboretum is broken up into different sections. She walked us through part of the section that she manages. She also told us how, within each section, there are areas that are classified as high or low maintenance. Some areas require more man-power because of the type of vegetation.

As we walked toward her section, we walked through parts of the arboretum that were lower maintenance.. These regions looked more like a forest, with grass and scrubs growing high. There was very minimal maintenance in place in these sections, and as a result, they looked untamed. Our guide said that the maintenance levels of the different areas were prioritized based on their location and the foliage growing there. If it is a section with higher traffic or near a building, it is likely to receive more attention. Furthermore, if an area is home to more valuable or more sensitive trees, it is also likely to be more vigorously maintained.

One other thing she mentioned was how the Arnold Arboretum ensured everything was labeled and cataloged, which is something Clark also should attempt to do. If the Clark University knew where the rarer trees were, they would know what areas they should focus on more closely.

Sadly, the technician had a meeting to attend, so Max and I thanked her, and we parted ways. We then spent about three hours walking around the arboretum. We noticed the arboretum had made an effort to place maps at key locations to help people find their way around. There were also benches, trash cans, and water fountains. Something that struck me as interesting was that there were multiple grades of pathways. The main roads were wide and paved, but there were also quite a few gravel and dirt paths. While the budget for the Hadwen Arboretum is limited, the notion of varying grades of pathways and the sectioning of space are both things we should look into.

The other major event that happened was the discovery of the Hadwen’s will. Two sources came through to help me recover this document. The first was the Worcester Probate and Family Courts. I had sent a request for the will via mail and just got a photocopy in reply. At the same time I ran into Fordyce, Clark’s archive librarian (I mentioned her in my third blog), and she told me she found some records about the Hadwen’s estate that I should look over. The next day when I visited archive, we found another copy of the will. This was an original copy though and record it came with had more documents ? Please review this sentence. Not sure what you mean. The first time I looked at archive, we could not find information about when Clark obtained the Arboretum property, in 1907, up to the 1920s. This information filled that missing gap.

I realized that trustee Arthur Estabrook, who the Clark music building is named after today, was a friend of Hadwen and talked about Hadwen’s property in regards to Clark. This could be the reason why O.B. Hadwen gave his land to Clark. When the property was given to Clark University, it was part arboretum, part farm, part home.  We continued to use it as a farm throughout WWI, turning it into a large-scale victory garden.

Another interesting thing I learned was that Dr. Potter (from blog #3) was involved with the arboretum earlier then I had previously thought. He became a friend with O.B. Hadwen in Hadwen’s later years, and he started to live in Hadwen’s house, known as Magnolia, after the Hadwen family moved out.

A final note: At this point I am beginning to write some emails to the people I would like to get advice from. I would also like to have some of these people became a part of the interest group. Now, I have ended the research part of my summer project and now have to move on to the outreach portion of the project. I am much more nervous about this section than the research. I have to contact and set up times to meet with experts and community leaders to get their advice on how I should begin building value for the arboretum. I will update you after my first few meetings.

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