The “100 Acre Meadow” conjures up images of A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and the fictional 100 Acre Wood. Reading’s 100 acres was pasture and scrub land. We know it today as the Town Forest, and it has expanded into 300+ acres comprised of wetlands and woods with walking trails. According to the book A Year in the Forest by Jack Cairl with illustrations by Barbara Mellin, in 1930 on Arbor Day “hundreds of Reading citizens [young and old] gathered… to plant trees and officially dedicated the new Town Forest” on what once was the 100 Acre Meadow. At the close of the day a circle, 100 feet in diameter, of pine trees were planted “to symbolize the spirit of civic unity and cooperation”. This circle is now called the “Council Ring” and the pine trees now soar up toward the sky over 100 feet creating a green canopy and peaceful sanctuary. To read more about the Town Forest, visit the Local History Room where you will find Cairl’s book and other related articles.
Image illustration by Barbara Mellin from A Year in the Forest by Jack Cairl, part of the Local History’s book collection. For other historical images from the Town of Reading, visit our online digital collections at the NOBLE Digital Heritage project.