James and Elizabeth Baker were among the first Oregon Trail emigrants to settle in Eastern Oregon. They traveled from Iowa in 1862 and were one of the original five families to settle in what is now the City of La Grande.
La Grande was a treeless prairie when they arrived. James Baker was known as a horticulturist and planted many of the first trees in the community. Elizabeth Baker loved the locust trees he planted near their home. When she died in 1883, he planted this black locust near her grave.
Well into his 80s, James was seen carrying two pails of water up the hill to Elizabeth's grave site to water the tree. As La Grande grew, the remains of Elizabeth Baker were moved to a new cemetery but the locust tree remains.
Approximate height: 60 feet
Circumference: 57 inches (below the forks at two feet)
Crown: 43 feet
Planted in: 1883
Dedicated on: April 4, 2002
Visit the tree
This tree is located on the campus of Eastern Oregon University on the NE side of Hill Ave across from the northernmost corner of Hunt Hall.