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Taylor Guitars has announced the birth of approximately 400 Baby Libertys, 3/4-size guitars constructed with wood salvaged from the last of the historically significant Liberty Trees. The last Liberty Tree was a 400-year old tulip poplar that stood on the campus of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland until it was severely damaged by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and subsequently cut down. It was one of 13 historic trees around which Colonial patriots secretly gathered to plot the American Revolution. The Liberty Trees became a popular symbol of the struggle for independence, and were celebrated in a poem by Thomas Paine, published in 1765.
In 2000, when Bob Taylor purchased the wood of the much-beloved Annapolis Liberty Tree, he dreamed of creating 234 guitars -- one for every year the group of trees stood as symbols of freedom. Taylor was delighted to find he had enough usable wood to make approximately 400 beautiful, full-sized, solid-wood Liberty Tree Guitars. As the project progressed over a period of 18 months, he also found he had leftover pieces, too small to use on larger guitars, but perfect for creating the veneer for Baby Libertys.
The Baby Libertys have back and sides of laminated tulip poplar from the Annapolis Liberty Tree. The soundhole rosette is an inlaid ring of cherry wood containing thirteen birch stars representing the original thirteen American Colonies. A red, white and blue banner similar to those flown by the Colonists during the American Revolution is inlaid in birch wood on the soundboard, and the word "Liberty" is inlaid in script lettering of maple on the headstock.