Wedding Oak is a legendary Indian site that was popular into the 1900s.
This tree sheltered many marriage services. On December 24, 1911,
three marriages took place here." -
Photo courtesy Jim
& Lou Kinsey, 2003
known as the wedding oak, the marriage oak or the matrimonial oak,
the legend is that before the settlers arrived, that Indians stood
under the tree to be wed and that the tradition was adopted by the
settlers. It's a simple story. That's it. Indians and then settlers
got married under it.
No ghosts, hangings or mysterious signs carved into the trunk. Just
a wedding tree. Outside of San
Saba. End of story.
being inspired to visit the tree (perhaps by the Kinsey's photo) photographer-at-large
Barclay Gibson made the trip all the way from Carlsbad, New Mexico
to photograph the tree.
Photo courtesy Barclay
Saba: Turning north from in front of the San Saba High School,
you follow 9th street for 1/4 mile. After turning left onto China
Creek Road, proceed about a mile and you'll see the shade provided
by the tree.
Photographer Gibson provided another tip: "The Wedding Oak is right
up (down) the road of the Beveridge
Suspension Bridge near San
Saba. If you've been to the bridge, you've passed under this tree."
A legendary Indian
site, popular into the 1900s, Wedding Oak sheltered many marriage
services. Three occurred in one day, Dec. 24, 1911.
have confused this tree with the "Center of Texas Oak" near
in nearby McCulloch
County. But although they're both live oaks - they are indeed
separate trees with separate stories. (They also happen to be about
40 miles apart.) People who wanted to get married stood under this
one - and people (for whatever reason) who wanted to stand in the
geographic center of Texas stood under the other one.
This might be a good opportunity to explain a basic difference between
folklore and history. Historians would want to see documentation
about Indian courtship rituals while folklorists would just say
people got married here and leave it at that. If the real truth
was known, we might be calling it the "Getting out of the Rain"
oak - since that was another tradition shared by both Indian and
thanks to both The
Kinseys and Mr.
Gibson and if anyone else wants to send in a photo of the tree
- we'd love to have one taken from the other side. - Editor)
wishing to share their wedding stories or information on Indian
courtship and marriage, please contact
Photo courtesy Judy McBride, November 2005