The Haunting Story of the Fairchild Oak

The area surrounding New Smyrna Beach is lovely, full of rich history and sometimes shrouded in
mystery. Take the local legend of the haunted Fairchild Oak, for instance. That story has all the makings
of a made- for-television thriller, and it goes a little like this…
Within picturesque Bulow Creek State Park, there stands a tree that lays claim to being one of the oldest
living oaks in the entire Southeast. This tree, the Fairchild Oak, has been around for over 400 years,
survived the Second Seminole War when the Bulow Plantation was destroyed and is still standing strong
to this day, serving as a noble sentry to its picturesque environs.
Legend has it that the Fairchild Oak is the site of two tragic deaths. The first was James Ormond who
lived close by, whose body was found under the tree. His death was never explained. Then, around
1880, the property owner became overcome with debt and supposedly took his own life under that very
Today, the site around that famous tree is much more pleasant. Visitors can joyfully picnic in a nearby
pavilion or at a table on the expansive lawn with the Fairchild Oak in view. You can also explore along
the seven miles, scenic Bulow Woods Trail, which leads to the Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State
Park. It’s not uncommon to spot a variety of species of birds, deer, owls, raccoons and – as local lore
would have it – it is possible you may also see the apparition of a man veiled within a cloak of loss and
Whether you actually catch a glimpse of the Fairchild Oak ghost or not, a visit to these gorgeous,
historical grounds is a lovely way to spend the day!

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