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Black Hawk Tree

The Black Hawk Tree, or Black Hawk's Tree, was a cottonwood tree located in Prairie du Chien, United States. Local legend held that Sauk leader Black Hawk used it to elude his pursuers, though there are differing details and versions of the story. One version puts Black Hawk's presence in the tree during the 1790s, while another states it was after the conclusion of the 1832 Black Hawk War and involved a young Lieutenant Jefferson Davis. In reality, it is unlikely that Black Hawk used the tree to hide, though he was in Prairie du Chien once after his surrender at the end of the 1832 Black Hawk War; the tree was felled by a windstorm during the 1920s. Local lore in Prairie du Chien held that the Sauk leader Black Hawk had once hidden in a cottonwood tree, located in the city. In one version of the tale, the tree was said to have been used by Black Hawk during the 1790s to evade capture from troops stationed at Fort Crawford. Black Hawk would become famous for his role in leading a band of Sauk and Fox, known as the British Band, back into Illinois in violation of several disputed treaties.

The event triggered the Black Hawk War of 1832. Another version of the story held that one day, after his capture following the Black Hawk War, he was being escorted by Lieutenant Jefferson Davis and managed to escape. While eluding his pursuers, it is said, Black Hawk hid himself among the branches of the tree; this version of the story appeared in the LaCrosse Tribune in 1922. In reality, the local legend is untrue. Most historians believe that while Black Hawk was in Prairie du Chien once, it was not until after the decisive battle of the Black Hawk War at the mouth of the Bad Axe River. By this time, in August 1832, Black Hawk had surrendered to the custody of the Ho-Chunk and could not have hidden in the tree. Regardless of the veracity of the tale, the tree was unique in a settled area that had few trees and a large population utilizing wood for various purposes. A 1906 article in the Prairie du Chien Union debunked the popular tale, outlining the ownership of the property, the writer's interviews with the subjects, their assertion that the tree was not planted until at least the 1840s.

The same article went on to assert the tree had a right to "importance and honorable mention" because of its namesake and the injustices he faced during the 1832 "war of extermination."Newspaper accounts stated that visitors purposely passed the tree in automobiles and many stopped to view the tree. By 1922, the once two-trunked tree was in decline. During a windstorm in the 1920s, the Black Hawk Tree was destroyed, but after its death the site continued to be marked; the Black Hawk Tree is, without question, the most well-known tree in the Prairie du Chien area and part of local lore. The Black Hawk Tree, like other trees in Wisconsin such as the Hanerville Oak, was so revered that the road was detoured around it to save it from being cut down. After the tree's destruction, certainty that the tale is not true, the legend persists; when the tree came down, the road it grew from was renamed from Bluff Street to Black Hawk Avenue. A piece of wood, purportedly from the Black Hawk Tree, hangs in the museum at Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien.

List of famous trees

Duckdalben International Seamen’s Club

Duckdalben – International Seamen’s Club is the name of the seamen’s club founded in 1986 in the Port of Hamburg by the Deutsche Seemannsmission Hamburg-Harburg e. V; every year, around 35,000 seafarers from more than 100 countries are offered practical help and orientation in what is for them a foreign port. Duckdalben is named. In 2011 it was named; the first seamen’s home in Germany was founded in Bremen. The Duckdalben seamen’s club opened as a facility of the Seemannsmission Harburg on 13 August 1986 on the Zellmannstrasse located beneath the Köhlbrand Bridge in the Duty Free Port; the name is derived from the groups of thick tree trunks that are rammed in the harbour floor for mooring vessels. In 1986, it all started with a maintenance shed belonging to the port railway, it was used as an office by the forerunner of today’s Port Authority, chosen as the site for establishing a seamen’s club in the growing container port in Waltershof. The shed was given a brick façade and designed to accommodate 15 to 20 visitors.

However, the up to 120 seafarers who visited the facility daily soon showed that this first version was much too small. Relief came in 1994 with plans to add a major expansion that included rainwater collection and solar warm water systems, and, made possible through the generous financial support of the International Transport Workers' Federation ITF. In addition to a spacious, friendly entry hall with telephone booths for undisturbed telephoning, a billiard room and multi-purpose hall were included; these can be used for celebrations. A non-denominational “Room of Silence” chapel was set up in the upper floor; the expansion was finished in 1995. In 2003 a conservatory with fireplace was added, which functions as a library offering several foreign newspapers in addition to books. An annexe was completed in 2015. In the upper floor of the main building is the “Room of Silence” chapel, designed with worship and prayer niches for seafarers with varying religions and denominations. Books and newspapers are available in the club’s library.

In the club room seamen can drink at moderate prices. They can telephone with friends and family at favourable rates and carry out simple bank and currency exchange transactions. There is a small shop, tourist information about Hamburg is given out. Warm clothing from the club’s clothing store is available the entire year. Much of the clothing donations is provided by the Hamburg welfare organisation Hanseatic Help. Billiard and table tennis, table football and darts are available for the seamen’s recreation. A small sports field invites seafarers to pursue sports activities –, not possible on board their ships. Computers with Internet access and a television with international programmes are available to all without charge. Articles of daily use that the seamen request from their ships are procured. Free WLAN is available in the entire house. Working alongside the employees and volunteers are occupational trainees who are spending a voluntary year of social service; as ships are moored in the port far from the seamen’s club, the seamen can be picked by the club’s pick-up service and returned to their vessels.

For this free service, the club’s busses travel around 250,000 km annually in the port. Since 1986 more than 1,000,000 guests have visited the seamen’s club; the seamen’s club is under the direction of Port Chaplains Anke Wibel and Jan Oltmanns, awarded the Order of Merit for his dedication and extraordinary service. They are supported over 80 volunteers. Seamen are looked after by the employees and young persons completing their voluntary year of social service in Duckdalben itself, but on board the ships. In Germany, seamen's missions are run as public charities; the state churches are facing financial difficulties, but they honour their responsibility and help out with financial support. The financing of Duckdalben is ensured among others by contributions from the Evangelic Lutheran Church, the Hamburg Port Authority and the ITF Seafarers Trust, by donations from several ship-owners and many private sponsors, through sales proceeds in the shop. German seamen’s missions abroad are financially supported to one half through donations and revenues from the seamen’s homes and donations, to the other half from the Evangelical Church in Germany.

In church services on 18 August 2018, Port Chaplain Jörn Hille was formally inducted in the position of Ship Visitor. Due to the short layover times that ships remain in port, many seamen don't have time to visit Duckdalben. Visits on board the vessels are the remedy. Important for the seafarers are the telephone, top-up and SIM-cards that Jörn Hille and his colleagues have in their packs. Before visiting a ship, they consult the club data base to see which nationalities are on board the vessel and gathers news on the seamen’s home countries to take on board. On 3 December 2010 the Hamburg Duckdalben Seamen’s Club was named among the world’s five best clubs by the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare. In 2011 it was named the “Seafarers’ Centre of the Year” by the International Committee on Seafarers Welfare; the decision was announced in home of the international organisation. The ICSW is a coalition of international maritime organisations such as the International Transport Workers’ Federation