The 25th anniversary of “The Shawshank Redemption” is rapidly approaching this weekend.
What better way to commemorate the anniversary of a cinematic classic and important world-renowned local site than being able to own a piece of the world-famous tree yourself?
When the historic tree was first wind sheared in 2011 with a subsequent shear in July of 2016, many were heartbroken over the loss and worried about what would happen to the tree.
Many fans of the world-famous movie “The Shawshank Redemption” are emotionally connected to the scenes where Red walks the long rock wall.
When Red walks up to the tree and finds the envelope with his name on it buried under the volcanic rock he reads the letter from Andy.
“Remember, Red. Hope is a good
thing, maybe the best of things,
and no good thing ever dies. I will
be hoping that this letter finds
you, and finds you well. Your
“The Big Oak” has been a marker on the Dees Farm for years. After the wind shears, Dees understood the emotional loss to the Shawshank fans. Many fans mourned for the tree.
“This was a special tree to thousands of people,” said Dees. She wanted the tree to provide an opportunity for people who connected to the movie to have an important piece of that story.
She did just that by creating souvenirs from the original Shankshank wood from the world-famous oak tree featured in “The Shawshank Redemption” - many complete with quotes and items inspired by the movie.
There are products such as a bottle opener, keychain and unique signs emblazoned with iconic quotes such as “get busy living or get busy dying” and “we sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men”.
Products range from a small bottle of sawdust for just $20 to a table at $65,000. All products are one-of-a-kind and individually made by hand by a professional woodworker.
One of their most popular products is the rock hammer, which was an important part of Andy’s escape.
Mansfield resident Ray Myers explained his connection to the movie and why he chose to purchase a product.
“I bought an item because I really love the movie, and I'm thankful for so many aspects of it being local,'' said Myers. “Since moving here in 2002, I've wanted something from that majestic tree … even a leaf!”
Myers went on to say that he doesn’t have this same connection to any other movie.
“That tree was just such a symbol of hope and friendship for both of the main characters,” he said.
For Mansfielders, this tree’s notoriety is especially important. The Shawshank Redemption brought the City of Mansfield publicity and showcased some of its local history. To this day it continues to bring in tourism through the Shawshank Trail, events at the Ohio State Reformatory and the Shawshank Hustle race.
The Shawshank Oak Tree, Ltd., shares in the message of hope, friendship and redemption as symbolized in “The Shawshank Redemption.”
This connection is exactly why Dees began providing images and souvenirs made from the iconic Shawshank Oak Tree.
"There was only one Shawshank Oak Tree and that is all there will ever be,” Dees said. “Share in motion picture history and own a piece of the tree."
In the words of Ray Myers, "don't miss your chance to own a piece of cinematic greatness!"