The Massachusetts Historical Society recounts the fall of the Great Elm, a tree that had long been a fixture on the Common, in 1876:
When the tree finally did come down in 1876, struck by a strong gust of wind during a storm, Boston citizens rushed to the tree to claim branches and scraps of wood as souvenirs.
The tree was repurposed in a number of other ways by inventive residents, including creating veneered pictures of the tree made out of wood from the elm itself and growing a root of “The Old Elm” around a china dish cover. Part of the tree was also used to make a chair for the Boston Public Library . ... One of these keepsakes belongs to MHS’s own collection, a pair of “Old Elm earrings,” made by Benjamin F. Knowlton.