Two Harbor's "Honking Tree" Destroyed By Vandals

By KBJR News 1

August 6, 2010 Updated Apr 30, 2009 at 10:38 PM CDT

A towering white pine along Highway 61, best known as the "honking tree" is now just a stump.

The beloved Two Harbors landmark was destroyed by vandals overnight, leaving many residents shocked.

As LeAnn Wallace reports, residents will miss their once famous tree.

"It's always been kind of a special tree for everyone going up and down the North Shore and they call it the honking tree, because late at night people were coming through and they thought the tree was lonely, and they would honk to it."

Jerry Anderson and his wife took a now broken branch from their favorite pine, a token to remember their favorite tree.
The famous pine was known as the "honking tree" to most, but as "Charlie's Tree" to others.

"Named after the inspector that was on this job when this highway was built, who ate his lunch next to a very small white pine and he made sure that he ordered the contractor at that time and that was in the early sixty's to leave the tree where it was, not to cut the tree down."

Crews from the Minnesota Department of Transportation have been cutting branches off the tree, preparing to haul it away.
John Bray, from MN–DOT says there have been requests from residents to obtain a small part of the pine.

"There's a number of Two Harbors organizations that would like to have some diagonal cross sections of this tree cut as souvenirs or memorials or what has happened here, so we are going to accommodate the community."

"Many two harbors residents came to what is now just a stump, to leave wreaths, take pictures, and to remember the famous tree."

Anderson admits he sometimes did take time to honk...

"Once in a while...yeah...late at night only."

...and like most residents, hopes the suspect is caught and justice is served.

In Two Harbors, LeAnn Wallace, the Northland's News Center.

MN–Dot plans on hauling the tree away on Tuesday.
The Lake County Sheriff's Department continues to investigate the incident, which carries felony charges.