Home » Articles » 400+ Year Old White Oak Log Preserved

400+ Year Old White Oak Log Preserved

Mr. Jack Scaife, a contributor to the New Indian Ridge Museum and friend of Museum Director, Col. Matthew W. Nahorn, has donated an important historic wood specimen to the Museum.  On November 4, 2011, during a tour of the Beaver Creek on our Museum Preserve Grounds, Mr. Scaife made the donation.  Mr. Scaife is an avid researcher and collector of history and prehistory – both of geologic and archaeologic significance.

The specimen he donated is a large chunk of a White Oak (Quercus alba) tree that was found a good eight feet deep into the ground while excavating a house foundation in Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio, just west of the Sandusky River, in 1970.  In 1999, the log section was found to be 400 years old through an analysis performed by the University of Toledo.  The tree had fallen into a boggy, clay area 400 years ago and was preserved in this largely anoxic area, away from decomposers that would have broken down the wood.  The specimen is in excellent shape, and even after four centuries of being sealed in the boggy area eight feet below the surface, it still has a nice white oak “wood” smell.

This is a great piece of Northern Ohio’s history, and we are very pleased Mr. Scaife chose the New Indian Ridge Museum to preserve this unique specimen for years to come.  We look forward to studying the piece and gaining knowledge from the specimen’s rings and other interesting preserved features.