Rachel Dory In the Shade of the Great Oak
Acrylic, Ink, Pencil, Pastel on Birch Wood Panel 5’x7′
Custom piece commissioned by Stevenson Oaks Senior Community, 2022
As residents enter the lobby of Stevenson Oaks, they are welcomed by two historic local Fort Worth natural landmarks: the Turner Live Oak, and the banks of Bear Creek. Each location has a unique story that is important to Texas and Forth Worth.
In the Shade of the Great Oak is a painting that depicts the Turner Oak, a historic Live Oak tree in Fort Worth Texas. As residents and visitors enter the building, they are invited to gather and commune beneath the welcoming boughs of this powerful live oak tree.
The History of the Turner Oak:
Charles Turner (1822-1875), one of the founders of Fort Worth, opposed the secession of Texas from the Union when the War Between the States broke out. However, when the state voted to secede, he abided by the majority decision. But when the Confederacy demanded that its citizens exchange their gold for Confederate notes, Turner chose not to follow the directive. Instead, he buried his gold under a live oak which was growing on the farm he had settled in 1851.
After the War when Confederate notes turned out to be worthless, Turner returned to the tree, dug up his stashed gold, and used it to restore Fort Worth to prosperity.
After passing the Turner Oak at the entrance, you can continue through the local Fort Worth natural landscape and find yourself strolling along the banks of Bear Creek. Texas Reflectionsprovides a calm, natural space to relax and enjoy a meal by the cool water.
Texas Reflections (Bear Creek, Fort Worth TX) 8’x8’
2022 Rachel Dory
Acrylic, Pastel & Pencil on Wood Panel
The History of Bear Creek:
Bear Creek rises in two branches, Little Bear and Big Bear creeks, which meet a mile northeast of Euless. Bear Creek runs southeast for ten miles to its mouth on the West Fork of the Trinity River, south of Irving and northeast of Grand Prairie. The surrounding flat terrain with local shallow depressions is surfaced by clay and sandy loam that supports water-tolerant hardwoods, conifers, and grasses.
Bear Creek was an early champion of equality and freedom, providing a home to one of the oldest freedmen communities in Texas. Jim Green, a former slave, purchased land near Bear Creek in 1878. By the early 1900s, nine African American families owned land in the community at Bear Creek. Green and the other residents established Shady Grove Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in 1884 and later in 1917 a school building, which was on land donated by Jim Green to the community.