Authorities are searching for vandals who destroyed a 150-year-old white oak tree known as the “Door Tree” in Hamden, Conn. on July 17, the Hamden Historical Society said in a statement.
The tree, a local landmark named for its unusual arch-like shape, was found knocked down and cut to pieces. It is not clear when the destruction occurred, officials said.
The Regional Water Authority, which owns the land where the tree stood, has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible. An additional award from a private donor brings the reward to $2,000, the water company said.
The tree has been photographed as far back as 1898 and has been featured in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! television show. The tree was in “exceptionally” good health and likely would have lived many more years, the company said.
“We have heard from hundreds of people saddened by the news of the Door Tree,” said RWA spokesman Dan Doyle. “It’s a saddening and tragic loss.”
Members of the historical society have long feared the tree could be a target because of its location about 50 feet off New Road, they said.
The water authority is investigating the vandalism. Anyone with information is asked to call 203-562-4020.
Abigail Feldman can be reached at email@example.com.