The Big Oak

The Big Oak is a large live oak (Quercus virginiana) located in Thomasville, Georgia, in the United States at the corner of Crawford Street and Monroe Street. The Big Oak is one of many historic landmarks located in Thomasville. The Big Oak was one of the earliest trees registered with the Live Oak Society. Registered by P.C. Andrews in 1936, the Big Oak was the forty-ninth Live Oak registered. At the time of registration, the Big Oak’s girth was 21 feet 6 inches.

     1982 the Big Oak property was dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Ireland Poe. The property is now known as the Elizabeth Ireland Poe Park. The Big Oak once received a distinguished visitor in 1958. On a hunting visit to Thomasville with colleague George M. Humphrey, Dwight Eisenhower stopped by to take a photograph of the tree on his way to the airport. The President reportedly asked his driver to stop while he took a photograph. He then exited the vehicle, stood on the porch of Mrs. Rudolph Keyton, took his photograph and returned to his car.[

     It was long a dream of Mrs. Pansey Poe that the entire area would be utilized by the widest spectrum of the community. It, indeed, has been used in just that way. Among the many activities taking place there have been weddings, religious services, investiture services for Girl Scouts, and even a concert by the German Band. It has, also, been the scene for political speeches, picnics, and most recently the finish and rest area for the popular Rose City Run.

     The Big Oak and Gazebo bring the gifts of the past to the people of the present with a challenge to preserve for the distant future those things which we have been taught to hold dear. The City of Thomasville’s Visitors Center has placed a webcam on the property and visitors can photograph themselves with the famous tree.