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Tree of Life

Long before white settlers arrived in the Brodhead area, Native Americans lived off the land near the banks of the Sugar River – hunting, fishing and growing crops. Local legend has it that a large Bur Oak tree near Brodhead marked the site of a commonly used camping area at the halfway point (“paced off by Indian runners”) on a trail traveled between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. A modern survey verifies it to be within six miles of the official halfway point.

The Half-Way Tree is on private property but can easily be viewed from W341 Halfway Tree Road, Brodhead (south of the airport and east of State Highway 81). Property owner Nancy Carney is the official keeper of the tree. You’ll see one of Green County’s barn quilts on her former dairy barn. The name of the quilt pattern? Tree of Life.

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