Tazewell Hotel and Suites, Norfolk, VA Ascend Collection

The Wishing Oak

The Tazewell Hotel and Suites is proud to honor the memory of former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator, Littleton Waller Tazewell (1774-1860) whose beautiful home stood on Granby Street until 1901. That year, the house was dismantled and moved to Powhatan Avenue in Norfolk, where it continues today as a beautiful and stately private residence. But something else on the property, a famous tree, was actually destroyed in 1901, and its beautiful story is one that should warm the heart of anyone who believes in eternal love.

The tree was called The Wishing Oak and for decades it stood near the house, its flowing branches overhanging a sidewalk onto Granby Street. A custom developed where unmarried couples would stand beneath the tree, whisper to each other their hope to be wed, and then walk two blocks in silence.

In a poem called Talisman of the Wishing Oak, Norfolk author Winnifred Stackville Stoner wrote:

For a distance of two short blocks from the tree as proof that a proper mate he would be, Since "Silence is golden" and the fairies said-- "He who can't hold his tongue is not fit to wed." (Yet how few of us mortals know that in this There lies the whole secret of marital bliss.)

Children would visit the Wishing Oak to whisper their Christmas gift dreams. Indeed people had such faith in the old tree that they believed there was virtue even in the leaves which they would take home and kiss for good luck.

The owners and staff of The Tazewell Hotel and Suites, built where the Wishing Oak once stood, maintain the legend lives on and have included an oak leaf in our trademark. Whether you are hoping for success in marriage, business or health, we are confident that the spirit of the Wishing Oak will be with you during your stay with us and all the following days of your life.