Tonight is the longest night of the year. This time of the year it is easy to identify the basswood trees in the park next to the Conway Public Library with their lime green brachts set among the large dark green leaves.
Four of them flank the southern edge of the park along the appropriately named Greenwood Avenue across from the historic D. Baker upholstery building with its old "western" looking rectangular facade attached to the gable end of the rustic wooden building.
If you look carefully, you will notice the red brick sidewalk known as the Davis-Baker Walkway.
After Independence Day, the basswood’s lemon colored flowers will attract bees that will make a specific kind of linden honey.
In his 1792 History of New Hampshire, Jeremy Belknap reports that the “Basswood or Lime-Tree (tilia americana) is sometimes sawed into boards, which are very white, but soft, and easily warped.”
He did not seem to know that Native Americans used its inner bark to make rope and mats, nor did he mention that the wood was favored by our colonial ancestors for carving wooden sculptures.
To learn more about Conway's historic landscape or our early settler's use of trees please contact us at the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room.