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OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Building History

The Trysting Tree, a large Grey Poplar located to the southeast of Benton Hall, was a popular gathering spot on campus. According to one story, the tree was planted between 1880 and 1885 by George Coote. An early alumnus claimed that the Trysting Tree was named because of its "magical effects on students, especially in the spring time." The tree's popularity was such that the Board of Regents felt obliged to place two arc lights on the cupola of Benton Hall (then Administration Building) "to keep the tree from being overworked." On September 27, 1987, the Trysting Tree was cut down because of advanced disease in its trunk and limbs.