In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irma, Professor Emerita of Biology Dr. Janice Haldeman reported the loss of a large slash pine on the Erskine campus.
Nathan Guyette of Aramark Facilities said the tree, which was growing in Erskine’s Pressly Family Heritage Garden across from the science center, measures 95 feet in length and is 85 years old.
Haldeman spoke with McDonald-Boswell Professor Emeritus of History Dr. James Gettys, who is familiar with the property donated to Erskine and now known as the Pressly Garden.
“Jim Gettys told me that William Pressly showed him that line of pines and indicated to him that they were planted in the 1930s,” Haldeman said. Pressly was a longtime chemistry professor at Erskine College whose portrait hangs in the Daniel•Moultrie Science Center. He was the uncle of alumni Sam and Eva Pratt, who donated the land for the Pressly Garden.
“Before the property was donated to Erskine College, and before and after William died, Jim used to mow the cleared area around where the house had stood—the house where William was brought up, built by his grandfather William Laurens Pressly, Dean of Erskine Seminary and son of Ebenezer Erskine Pressly, the first president of Erskine College.”
Erskine College was closed Monday, Sept. 11, as Irma, formerly a Category 5 hurricane, headed from Florida toward Georgia and South Carolina. Classes were delayed until 9:30 a.m. Sept. 12. Erskine Seminary was closed Monday and Tuesday.