The Pittsfield Center was home of the famous Pittsfield Elm tree for many years. The Pittsfield Elm was said to represent the city’s civic strength and natural bounty. During the American Revolutionary War, the elm served as a landmark for those looking for the small jail across the street at the current Patrick’s Pub. In 1791 the town opted to erect its first meeting house on Park Square. Thus, it was decided the towering tree must come down. On the third chop of an ax, however, Lucretia Williams, wife of John Chandler Williams, threw herself in front of the tree to prevent its destruction. John Chandler Williams stepped in and offered some of his adjacent land as the building spot of the first Meeting House in order to save the tree his wife was so bravely sheltering. In 1863 skilled woodsman Sylvannus Grant was hired to take down the famous elm after it was struck by lightning.