Marker Name: The Back Brusly Oak
Marker Dedicated: October 1, 1976, during the 75th anniversary of the Town of Brusly
Marker Sponsor: Brusly Lion’s Club
Marker Location: At the base of the Back Brusly Oak tree; intersection of West Main Street and LaBauve Street; Brusly, LA 70719
Marker Text: Member Louisiana Live Oak Society. Estimated to be over 330 years old in the Bicentennial Year of 1976. Community gathering place for many years.
Background: This marker honors the Town’s symbol – the Back Brusly Oak. The oak tree, more than 350 years old in 2002, was enrolled in the Live Oak Society in 1969 through the efforts of Mrs. Ethel Claiborne “Puffy” Dameron, founder of the West Baton Rouge Historical Association. The marker was a gift from the Brusly Lion’s Club in 1976, when the town celebrated its 75th anniversary. During the 2001 Centennial the marker was refurbished by two Lion’s Club members.
In the early 1900, a dance hall sat next door and several “Mom and Pop” stores were situated within walking distance from the tree. People would come to get the things they needed and they would talk and visit underneath the oak’s protective limbs. It was the town’s gathering place for many years.
Between July 4 and July 8, 2002, the marker was dug up and hauled off. Over $1200 in rewards were offered for its’ safe return. Thanks to the efforts of the news media and the Town officials, the marker was recovered from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Morley Marina. It was cleaned and re-erected to its’ original location beside the Back Brusly oak where it stands today.
For more information on Brusly, read Brusly 1901 – 2001 A Place to Call Home; by Pamela Folse, Editor. Available at the West Baton Rouge Parish Library or for purchase at the Town of Brusly City Hall, (225) 749-2909.
For more information:
• Brusly 1901 – 2001 A Place to Call Home; by Pamela Folse, Editor.
• West Side Journal, Thursday, June 27, 2002
• The Advocate, Friday, July 19, 2002
• The Advocate, Friday, August 2, 2002
• Along the River Road by Mary Ann Sternberg, pages 203-206
• Chronicles of West Baton Rouge by Elizabeth Kellough and Leona Mayeux, 1979, page 160
• State Historic marker files at the West Baton Rouge Museum
• Reference files at the West Baton Rouge Museum and Library