Defiance, The Brown Tree, F5101
The Hoosier Heartland Corridor highway, from Lafayette to Fort Wayne, was a needed and important addition to our state. Here in Carroll County, several individuals were involved to make sure the construction process was appropriate for our community. A couple of notable examples was the influence to keep the roadway close to Delphi and the addition of the Freedom Bridge as a gateway to the town.
But the story of one man’s defiant stand against thoughtless destruction was captivating. A beautiful 200-year-old Bur Oak tree was to be removed in order to relocate some utilities. Since the tree was in a right of way, the agency had the legal right to proceed. But Curt Brown, a small parttime farmer recognized that this action was not proper. He stood up to say “No” to this useless destruction of our land. To make sure his objection was heard, he parked his tractor underneath the tree in defiance, till the Indiana Department of Transportation saw it fit to ask the utility company to alter their plans.
Today, the “Brown Tree” can still be seen as you drive along the Hoosier Heartland near the small town of Burrows on 900 N. Each time I drive by this magnificent tree, I give a mental “Thanks Curt” for his thoughtfulness to save a small part of our environment.