Old Senator: Tall Tales of Everlasting Love in the Ancient City
Not only does St. Augustine boast the Fountain of Youth, its love trees contain the key to lifelong happiness.
In the nation’s oldest city, there’s one longtime resident older than St. Augustine itself. At more than 600 years old, the Old Senator has been towering over the residents, visitors and lovers at his trunk since before Christopher Columbus boarded the Santa Maria.
In all his centuries, the mighty live oak has found love himself—in the form of a palm tree.
Of all the Ancient City’s tales and mysteries, the most fascinating may be the love tree. Love trees are formed when two different species grow together in the same place, interlacing their trunks and branches, particularly common in humid climates. St. Augustine boasts seven known love trees within the city.
We went back to the tree because we’re hopeless romantics.
— Brent Glover
Given the rarity of this strange flora, legends have cropped up amongst St. Augustine residents. According to local lore, a couple who kisses under the intertwined tree will be together forever—blessed with a perfect romance, like the one between the oak and the palm.
For years, Old Senator has beckoned lovers young and old to lock lips beneath the moss-covered branches. Jenna and Brent Glover are two who heard the rumors and had to find out for themselves.
The Florida natives living in St. Augustine learned of the fable during an Old Town Trolley tour through the city.
Although Jenna grew up in St. Johns County, she never indulged in the “touristy” things. When the couple married in St. Augustine two years ago, they took their honeymoon in the same beloved city. While on a mission to hit the true tourist spots, they learned of the tree on their trolley ride.
“We went back to the tree because we’re hopeless romantics,” Brent said.
The couple returned to Old Senator for a kiss after the tour, and again on their anniversary in August.
“Nothing magical happened,” said Jenna, no shining lights or rush of wind, but they’re happy together either way.
While we don’t know whether Old Senator is truly blessing couples with everlasting relationships, there’s definitely something mystical about the tree. Legends swirl around the 56-foot behemoth, including the belief that it’s lived so long due to its close proximity to the Fountain of Youth.
While arborists claim the trees are a result of chance and good weather, more dreamy residents say their entwined trunks are the souls of two lovers knit together.
With the wisdom of 600 years, The Old Senator will continue inspiring tall tales and gracing starry-eyed lovers with stories of romance for centuries to come.