An old elm once stood near the location of the original Rotherwood house. The tree was legendary until its death in the 1940s. Its names included, “The Great Elm,” and “The Old Elm.” The Rotherwood Elm was said to be in the National Forestry Department’s “Hall of Fame for American Trees,” early in the Twentieth Century.
The elm stood at the North Fork of the Holston River, a few hundred yards above the bridge. It was estimated to be between 400 and 500 years old. French explorers came through in 1790 and made the tree famous. At that point, they recorded the tree as being 22 feet in circumference.
The tree was 25 feet around prior to its demise. The branch system covered 150 feet.