Local History: Revolutionary Remnants in a Tree
Cannon balls from the Battle of Springfield have been unearthed around town, including from a tree that once lived on Main Street.
Among the items in the collection of the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society is a small collection of sundry sizes of cannon balls that have been unearthed throughout town. The cannon balls are most likely residue from the 1780 Battle of Springfield that ended near the site of the present Millburn Town Hall.
One of the Battle of Springfield cannon balls gained notoriety with this photo of the Hackleton elm, formerly on Main Street, that appeared in a 1946 issue of Life magazine. The caption that appears here below the photo says: "The Millburn Elm.. in the garden of Mr. Mark Oliver at 298 Main Street, selected as an outstanding example of beautiful American trees pictured in 'Life' (1946). Known originally as the Hackleton Elm, its age is estimated at 350 to 400 years. Mr. Hackleton, who once lived there, produced proof of the tree's virility and Revolutionary history, by extracting a four pound shot from the tree trunk some 20 years ago."
In 1968 the stately elm succumbed to Dutch elm disease, but its history lives on at the historical society.