The Curious Tree Engravings by Psychiatric Patients at Perryville

May 17, 2017 2 comments

At the Perryville Community Park in Perryville, in the US state of Maryland, not far from the Perry Point Veteran's Medical Center, is a group of about a hundred trees with cryptic messages carved into their barks. The trees sit on land that was once part of the Perry Point Veteran’s Administration Medical Center before becoming the Perryville Park. The Medical Center is a psychiatric hospital, and many of its patients are U.S. military veterans. During their stay at the psychiatric hospital and rehabilitation center, some of the patients visited the grounds and left their mark for modern-day explorers to discover.


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Many of the carvings are brief, one-worded statements with dark undertones, such as "Help", "Murder" and "Police". Others contain religious rhetoric and political statements:

“King of King and Lord of Lords”
“Battle of Armageddon”
“All authority is given unto He in Heaven and Earth”
"Christ said to police there was no Second World War"

Some messages contain jarring confessional statements:

“Monks didn’t want to murder Taylor Holly.”
“Eddie Kenny did not want to murder George Norris but St. Ignatius made him.”

Many of the trees contain the engraving "Nelson Jochnou" and it is possible that was the name of one of the engravers.

The carvings were done a long time ago, yet very few Perryville residents are aware of their existence, according to Cecil Daily.

The Perry Point was originally a general hospital that provided care for patients with various disabilities before it became a psychiatric ward in the 1920s. The Veterans Administration came into being in 1930.


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Sources: Cecil Daily / Wikipedia


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