Dutch explorer Adrian Block described an unusually large white oak tree growing in a clearing in what is now Hartford, Conn.

As noted in a previous column, in the 1630s, a delegation of American Indians approached the property’s owner where the tree was located. Intending to remove the tree, Samuel Wyllys preserved it because it was planted ceremonially for the sake of peace when their tribe first settled the area.

Local legend states that in 1687 the cavity of the tree was cored to hide the Connecticut Charter from the government of King James II.

At that moment it was renamed the Charter Oak. On Aug. 21, 1856 it was severely damaged by a fierce wind storm.

Fastcast: Afternoon showers.

Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 98 degrees. Heat index values as high as 108 degrees. Calm wind becoming southerly about 5 mph. Tonight, mostly clear, with a low about 77 degrees. Southerly wind about 5 mph becoming calm.