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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, May 23, 1909, Image 17

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1909-05-23/ed-1/seq-17/

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Mr. Benedict and Charles Stewart Smith Cat th« riphtj.
Well Known Men Have Planted
Trees for E. C. Benedict.
One of the most remarkable of living me
morials to famous men is the "friendship grove"
which is a feature of the beautiful country
estate of li C. Benedict, banker and ex-com
modore of the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht
Club, near Greenwich. Conn. Mr. Benedict baa
been widely known for many years as a yachts
mam and business man and was an intimate
friend of the late ex-President Cleveland. It
was on board his yacht that many of the im
portant acts of Mr. Cleveland's public life were
decided on.
Probably more well known men have been
entertained at Mr. Benedict's Italian villa over
looking Long Island Sound than at any other
country house in America. To commemorate
these friendiihips Mr. Benedict has induced some
of his distinguished visitors to plant trees, which
have been named for them, in a plot of ground
close to his house. These treat, which have
been planted on different occasions in the course
of the last dozen years, stand close together and
form a grove that has been called "Friendship
Grove." The group is .still a small one, but it
Includes trees planted by Grower Cleveland.
Andrew Carnegie, Joseph Jefferson. Thomas
Bailey Aldrich. John <".. Carlisle and ex-Vice-
President Fairbanks.
The place of honor in this remarkable grove
belongs to the Cleveland tree. This is a sturdy
chestnut, the roots if which were covered with
rarth by a spado in the hands of the ex-Pre.si
dent on April 27. 1337. less than two months
after he liad retired from the White House for
th« second time, In fact. the nucleus of the
friendship grove may be considered a memorial
to t'n- second Cleveland ■••■■.', for It
consists, in addition to the Cleveland tree, of
two others planted, respectively, by William L-
Wilson m.i John G. Carlisle, both members of
President Cleveland's Cabinet.
In May, 153*7, soon after the- founding of the
grove, Andrew Carnegie was a visitor at Mr.
Benedict's home and added a tree to the group
already planted. Mr. Carnegie selected a . beat
nut. In the .same year Mr. Benedict invited his
close business friend, Charles Stewart Smith,
than president of the New York Chamber of
Commerce and lone one of the leading busi
ness men of the city, to add a tree to his collec
Thomas Bailey AJdrich planted a linden in
1898. Joseph Jefferson add.;d a pine to the grove
in 1899 Mr. Kenan accompanied his act with
a witty speech >>t presentation, which he deliv
ered with the shovel in his hand, and in an.
attitude familiar to all those who knew the actor
in his celebrated part of Rip Van Winkle. A
spruce was planted by Charles "Warren Fair
banks in 1907. while he was Vice-President of
(he United States. Whether Mr. Fairbanks -.vis
moved by a toui h of humor to select a tree
known especially by its adaptability to frigid
climates. In view of the characteristic which the
cartoonists insisted upon attributing to him, he
did not Bay, but it probably was merely a coin
The newest addition to the grove is a young
oak. planted by Mr. Benedict himself in 1908.
His Connecticut estate Includes sixty acres of
woodland, in which nearly all the trees that
flourish in this climate are to be found and are
assiduously cared for. In addition there are
dozens of greonhouscs sheltering rare tropical
plants and flowers. Mr. Benedict's love of out
door Iff* la shared by all the member of his
Th« noted English novelist *ed last week, aged eighty-one. He had been m poor health Far
•ome time? and h,s favorite method of takina the air in his later years is here shown.
Savcrnakc Forest and the Marl
borough Dozens.
Savernake, May 11.
A brilliant capital loses its charm when thera
is nothing but dull talk about a Radical budget
and everybody is croaking over ttto navy. How
restful la the change from Whitehall to the 11 tr!
bor'«ugh dov\::s. where politics, dinner parties
and theatres can be dropped for a week-end!
-!■>... -sliy. deceptive spring has come at last in
raiiint beauty, an 1 this v* .... to see the
fresh verdure of the woods and to feel the
throbbing life that la pulsing through the gar
dens, fields and hillsides. Even from th.- rail
way windows there are glimpses of a beautiful
home land as the train speeds along the Thanies
Valley or across the Berkshire meadows, for the
apple trees and chestnuts are In feathery bloom,
the sheepwalks are aglow with buttercups and
bluebell.*, and the most exquisite blends of green
are in the woodlands and verdant valleys. It is
the loveliest fortnight of the year, when then
seems to have been a fairy like snowfall in the
orchards and the motor il-:.st has not had time to
settle on dense masses of wayside foliage. And
where can the refugee from crowded town have
a m ■■• exhilarating sense of the glory of in
English spring than in Savernake rest?
Not certainly in Hampstead Heath, dearly as
Constable loved it. nor In Epping Forest, beauti
ful a-s are the northern glades. Tl. >se arc pleas- i
ore grounds •<' the masses, overcrowded in th«
early spring, and so noisy that the birds are
frightened away. Windsor Forest is a broader
range of woodland scenery, with noble avenues
of trees and charming glimpses of Virginia
Water, but the driving and motoring are con
tinuous, and it is only in the denser mares that
.leer can be seen and the tuneful bird orchestra
be hoard. Savernake is a wilder tract, where
one is out of touch with human life. The
Marquis of Ailesbury has a splendid re.si
.i.-nee on the lower edge of it. an.l there aro
lodges and cottages in the outer i (earing . where
gamekeepers and laborers live; but one maty
wander for hours in the leafy glades without
seeing a human face. There are long terraces ■■'
beeches, shapely lumps of firs and magnificent
oak plantations, and among them ar- large herds
of red deer and roe deer grazing peacefully on
grassy levels and unaccustomed to disturbing
sound or scent. The woods are swarming with
squirrels, rabbits and bares, and birds arc sing
ing in the higiiest trees. Not the nightingale aa
yet, for that delightful warbler cannot be heard
so early out of East Angtia and Cambridge^
shire. But the cuckoos are repeating their musi
cal call from tree to tree, the thrush and tin*
blackbird are singing merrily, the lark is tin ling
in song high in the sky. and ail the minor min
strels are twittering and piping in the wood
land orchestra, with the rooks as eccentric
comedians, If one returns to the forest alter
curfew he may hear the owl's harsh screech or
get a glimpse of a raven in noiseless flight.
A long stroll through this delightful wild leads
to a deep hollow in the chalk downs, through
which runs a famous trout stream. Ancient
races have left their trails on the wooded hilt
side, for there are Roman camps and road I -vela
and British trails in the direction of the Drutdf
cal temple at Avebury; but Marlborough. flanked
by its breezy downs, is completely modernized.
In spite of the old-fashioned gables and roofs in
( oof inurd on i-iehCi pac*
\v.\snri>. (i r\sii) ami i:i:rAii:::i>.

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