A look at the history of the Toomer's Oaks - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

A look at the history of the Toomer's Oaks

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

Auburn University is taking steps to immortalize the memories of the Toomer's Oaks.

Fans have been leaving everything from toilet paper rolls, books, and hand-made get well cards at the base of the trees after the news broke back in February the trees had been poisoned.

The special collections and archives department of auburn university's library is collecting these items to be able to look back at this part of the trees' lives.  While the university is working to preserve the trees, News Leader Nine took a look back at the history of these famous icons.

South College Avenue looked a little different in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but one thing was the same: the Toomer's Oaks.  These trees were loved before the first model-T hit the roads, before the country was suffering through the Great Depression, and at least two decades before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Recently, the poisoning of these 130 year old iconic symbols have brought new light to Auburn's victory celebrations of rolling the trees.  But, how did this all start?

Greg Schmidt with Auburn's special collection library told News Leader Nine there are many theories.

"Before Auburn was on the radio or on TV, people would crowd around the telegraph office to find out the score of the game," said Schmidt.

He said the office was just down the road from Toomer's Corner.

"The telegraph operator would throw out a roll of telegraph tape to indicate a victory," said Schmidt.

He said this may have eventually led to rolling toilet paper on the trees.  He also added the name Toomer's Corner has its own history.

"The Toomer's Drugs of course was one of the earliest business downtown," said Schmidt.

Shel Toomer owned the drug store and founded the city's first bank near the trees.  Such a strong presence helped with what Schmidt calls the corner's cultural name: Toomer's.

While the trees are dying, Auburn Fans are working to hold onto these beloved memories.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

Today's Top Stories on News Leader 9

Toomers SIDEBAR

Updated:

Toomer's oaks getting sugar injection to battle poison Toomer's oaks show signs of growth Auburn: Toomer's leaves show no signs of poisoning Toomer's Corner trees to be replaced? Auburn committee suggests More>>

  • LocalMore>>

  • "Boil water" notice issued in Chattahoochee County

    "Boil water" notice issued in Chattahoochee County

    Monday, May 21 2018 12:43 AM EDT2018-05-21 04:43:52 GMT
    (Source: WTVM)(Source: WTVM)
    (Source: WTVM)(Source: WTVM)
    CHATTAHOOCHEE CO., GA (WTVM) - The Chattahoochee County Water Department has issued a "boil water" notice in the "Old City Limits" area. The advisory was issued due to a system disruption Sunday. County officials say the water system is back up, however, the advisory must remain in effect as part of protocol. No other issues with the water system is expected. Water Department officials will announce when the "boil water" notice has been lifted. ...More >>
    CHATTAHOOCHEE CO., GA (WTVM) - The Chattahoochee County Water Department has issued a "boil water" notice in the "Old City Limits" area. The advisory was issued due to a system disruption Sunday. County officials say the water system is back up, however, the advisory must remain in effect as part of protocol. No other issues with the water system is expected. Water Department officials will announce when the "boil water" notice has been lifted. ...More >>
  • BREAKING: Woodruff Farm Rd. closed following vehicle accident

    BREAKING: Woodruff Farm Rd. closed following vehicle accident

    Sunday, May 20 2018 11:06 PM EDT2018-05-21 03:06:27 GMT
    (Source: AP Graphics)(Source: AP Graphics)
    (Source: AP Graphics)(Source: AP Graphics)
    COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus Police and EMS are on the scene of a single-vehicle crash near Macon Rd. and Woodruff Farm Rd.  Portions of Woodruff Farm Rd. have been closed while first responders treat at least one person who reportedly was ejected from the vehicle. You should avoid this area for the time being.  News Leader 9 does have a team on the scene working to learn more.  Stay with us on air and online as we bring you the latest details.  Copyrigh...More >>
    COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus Police and EMS are on the scene of a single-vehicle crash near Macon Rd. and Woodruff Farm Rd.  Portions of Woodruff Farm Rd. have been closed while first responders treat at least one person who reportedly was ejected from the vehicle. You should avoid this area for the time being.  News Leader 9 does have a team on the scene working to learn more.  Stay with us on air and online as we bring you the latest details.  Copyrigh...More >>
  • Petition started in opposition of housing project on Wynnton Road

    Petition started in opposition of housing project on Wynnton Road

    Sunday, May 20 2018 9:41 PM EDT2018-05-21 01:41:04 GMT
    (Source: WTVM)(Source: WTVM)
    (Source: WTVM)(Source: WTVM)

    A proposed development to create new homes in Midtown Columbus is getting opposition from those in the area.

    More >>

    A proposed development to create new homes in Midtown Columbus is getting opposition from those in the area.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly