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Sacred Oak: Wikis


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The Sacred Oak is a more than 300-year-old Chinkapin Oak located in the Oley Valley, Pennsylvania. It sits in a grove of trees just off Friedensburg Road.


The Legend of the Sacred Oak

According to Native-American legend, a beautiful woman, the wife of a powerful chief, became very ill. All the tribe's medicine men were called in; they "pow-wowed" and administered herbal medicines, to no effect. Slowly, the chief's wife became weaker and sicker. Finally, desperate for a cure, the young chief traveled to the Sacred Oak and there prayed to the Great Spirit for his wife to be saved. Amazingly, when he returned to camp, his wife was well again. Several years went by and the tribe was threaten by a hostile tribe. Once again, the chief traveled to the Sacred Oak and prayed to the Great Spirit, who gave him guidance. The chief gathered blankets and beads and journeyed the camp of the enemy. His gifts were accepted, and before he left, he smoked the pipe of peace with the chief of the other tribe. From then on, the Sacred Oak was looked upon as the shrine tree of the Delaware Indians. They went to the Sacred Oak in times of trouble to pray, and legend has it that help was always given to them.

The Sacred Oak Today

Today, the Sacred Oak still grows in a forested area just off Friedensburg Road in Oley. In the past, people were allowed to visit the tree, but now the land is considered private property and is off limits to visitors. The land was recently sold to a new owner, who has begun raising money to help preserve the Sacred Oak. Recently, the leader of the Lenape Nation Council, Chief Gentlemoon and 25 other people held a ceremony to revitalize the tree. Work has now begun on trimming all the deadwood out of the tree to help it continue to grow. The wood is being used for a variety of things, including being made into pens by a local craftsmen and Native-Amerericans all over the country. The Sacred Oak is currently the biggest tree in Berks County and is on Pennsylvania Register of Large Trees. Update 12/3/09 The Sacred Oak is open to the public. Park on Heffner Rd across from the Oak and follow the arrows to the Oak. Or park on Old State Rd near Sommers Rd and walk in. (longer walk)

Dimensions of the Sacred Oak

Height: 73 feet

Girth: 21 feet 2 inches

Spread: 118 feet

Age: 300+ years old

See also


"The Sacred Oak of Oley". Reading Eagle. 7 September 2006. p.A1

"In Legend, Indians Blessed By sacred tree". Reading Eagle. 7 September 2006. p.A2

"Words of hope for Oley Twp. oak". Reading Eagle. 28 January 2007 p.B1



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