The oaks of Independence : a landscape history of the original site of Baylor University and the potential surrounding historic district.
The landscape in and around the village of Independence in northeastern Washington County, Texas, is characterized by dense old growth riparian zones, released old fields, open pastures, and regenerated woodlots. The results of this project signify shifts in the appearance and use of the local landscape, including an increase in general woody vegetation since the late nineteenth century, and conversion from row crop and plantation agriculture to livestock production and leisure use. Live Oak Groves of the town and surrounding properties remain a constant within the changing landscape, and many trees pre-date Anglo settlement in the area. A regression for DBH/Age relationship was created from local tree measurements, which allowed identification of thirty-four trees older than the Republic of Texas, and ninety-three trees dating to the period of Baylor University’s residence in Independence. Intensive surveys of seventeen sites helped to identify historic landscape and vegetation features within a cultural context.