The Martin Rader Oak Tree

In 1965, Danbury Attorney Martin Rader was nominated as a delegate to the third Constitutional Convention in the state’s history. Such conventions are held infrequently and have the potential power to change the constitution by which the state operates.

During the convention, Rader was presented with a seedling from Connecticut’s original Charter Oak, the states most historic tree. Upon returning to Danbury, Rader presented the seedling to the Danbury Garden Club who nurtured it through the winter and planted the four foot sapling in the Spring of 1966.

The history of the original Charter Oak began in 1687 when Connecticut Governor Roger Treat received word from the King of England that Connecticut would be under siege if the state’s charter was not surrendered immediately. Governor Treat called an assembly together and placed the Charter on the table. A debate regarding how to respond to the King continued until evening when candles were lit.

Suddenly the lights went out and during the confusion, Captain L.D. Wadsworth silently took the Charter and hid it in a hollow in the famous “Charter Oak tree”. Two years later, the Charter was restored to the government and the process of freedom proceeded.

The Oak Tree plated here, a direct descendent of the famous Charter Oak, is symbolic of the strength and continued good government of the state of Connecticut.