The Tree House Lodge may not actually sit up in a tree, but nestled next to the Fire Ball (our iconic fire pit made from a marine ball) stands a beautiful Copper Beech tree.
Woods Hole’s first summer resident Joseph Story Fay planted many of these Copper Beech trees back in the 1850s when the area was cleared of trees for lumber and farming. Born in Cambridge Mass, Fay was a very successful businessman as well as a horticulturalist.
After his first trip to Falmouth with his wife in 1850, Fay purchased a summer home and multiple other plots of land -- one of which is said to be the Tree House Lodge property. To restore some of Falmouth’s greenery, Fay and his famous gardener Michael Walsh planted around twenty thousand seeds. Among the many trees planted, the Copper Beech trees still grow strong along Challenger Drive (on WHOI property nearby) and among other areas in Falmouth.
The Copper Beach has a distinctive brown leaf that shimmers like copper in the mid day sun. It is prized for it's thick shade and broad high cover, perfect for hot summer days and picnics by the beach. This Copper Beach is part of the magic of Treehouse Lodge, and you need to see it for yourself to fully appreciate it.
The trunks can grow wider than you can circle with your hands and there are many Copper Beaches planted on this hill. If you want to read about the sad demise of a sister tree to this one check out our Earth Day blog here. Perhaps our Copper Beech is still mourning the loss.
Information from the Woods Hole Museum