HAMDEN, CT (WFSB) – “The Door Tree,” an iconic landmark at Hamden’s Mt. Carmel, has been destroyed by vandals, said the Executive Board of the Hamden Historical Society.
The historical society was first made aware of the vandalism when a supporter of the group notified a society board member on Wednesday afternoon that they could not locate the tree.
Officials say the board member visited the site a few hours later and found the 150-year-old tree knocked down and cut into pieces with a chainsaw. The exact time of when the damage occurred is unknown.
Vandalism to the tree has been feared for many years because of its remote location, said the Hamden Historical Society. It is in a small valley near Clark’s Pond about 50 feet off New Road.
Multiple officials have been notified of the damage, including Mayor Curt Leng, the Hamden Police Department, and the Regional Water Authority. The Regional Water Authority owns the land where the tree stood.
Officials say Ted Norris, Vice President of RWA Asset Management, has assured the historical society that RWA police, along with the help of Hamden Police, will investigate the vandalism and seek to identify and prosecute those responsible.
The historical society says the “Door Tree” had been recognized by locals as a prominent landmark at Mount Carmel. They say it was first photographed in 1898 and was featured in works including Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” and Rachel Hartley’s “The History of Hamden Connecticut- 1776-1936.”
Officials are offering a private reward of $1,000 to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the destruction of the landmark.
The Regional Water Authority announced on Friday that it will offer $1,000 reward. This reward is in addition to the private reward offered for information, bringing the total to $2,000.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Regional Water Authority at 203-562-4020.