The “The Crying Tree” marker relays the story of Sarah Elizabeth “Sallie” Adams (1841-1913), a young girl of about five when she, her mother, and other family members were sold at a slave auction at the Smyth County Courthouse. The results left the enslaved Sallie alone and a “body servant” to the sickly wife of Marion resident Thomas Thurman. Over the years, Sallie would express her grief by crying next to a white oak tree in the Thurman yard and “sometimes hug the tree and tell it about her burdens and sorrows.” The community named the oak “The Crying Tree.”
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