The Town and the Campus 41
of which 52 are white oak, 83 weeping elm, 18 black ash, 19 white
ash, 19 sugar maple, 50 red, silver and ash-leaved maples, 82 osage
orange, 10 white pine, 20 white spruce, 39 red cedar, 66 arbor vitae,
20 loblolly pines, 176 magnolias, and many other trees, some of them
of rather rare varieties.
The flowering plants, including the roses, were set along the walks
and on the outer edges of the grass plots next to the buildings and
carefully cultivated and pruned by "Doctor" Tom, and showed their
loveliness in almost every month of the year. The entire front of the
Campus was, in the season of leaf and flower, lovely beyond
description, changing slightly from year to year as the trees increased
in size and shapeliness. Before these trees had grown too large, from
certain vantage points, as the front windows of the Lea Chemistry
Laboratory, opened vistas of rapturous beauty.
The whole was a lovely creation and a monument of the artistic
taste of President Taylor. The only criticism ever heard of it was that
it was too beautiful and ornate for a campus of a college for men,
where some thought a severer beauty was sufficient.
President Taylor's love for trees and his hopes for their use in the
further development of the Campus may be seen in the following
extracts from his article, "The Forest of Wake," Bulletin of Wake
Forest College, II, 112 ff: "And so it is that I can not write with
absolute passivity and in cold blood about some of my old Wake
Forest friends among the trees. For instance, it was a sense of real
personal loss that I learned of the destruction of the great white oak
which stood in kingly pride in the Timberlake yard on Main Street.
All in all this was the most magnificent tree I have ever seen. I
remember that Dr. Thos. Armitage, English-born and world-traveled,
while on his way to hear Gen. Matt Ransom deliver his literary
address one Commencement morning, stopped before it, doffed his
hat, and said to me that he had never beheld its equal. One night (fall
of 1897) a store-house which, unfortunately, was quite near to this
tree, was burned. This was the end also of the living tree."