Behind the Marion Fire Department stands a very old oak tree. The tears that were shed on its bark have long since been washed away. They were the tears of a six year old child, purchased as a slave by Thomas Thurman in the 1840’s. Sallie would steal away daily, wrap her arms around the tree and “cry her heart out” for her lost family, sold to a Lynchburg slave owner. The tree has been officially recognized during the town of Marion’s Sesquicentennial as the “crying tree”. She became a founding member of the Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church, the leading religious group that shaped the lives of most African American youth and children. It is an ordinary tree that still bears witness to an extraordinary little girl.