Very evocative post, Dave, with a great beginning. I really can’t imagine northern forests without hemlock, but I guess people said the same about chestnut. All the woodwork in my childhood bedroom was chestnut; the house had been built in 1860. In 1960 I’d never seen a mature American chestnut tree, though a decade later I knew people who had small home nurseries where they were growing resistant varieties. I remember seeing a huge stump in the woods that my teacher/mentor identified as a chestnut, and he would have known. It certainly makes you think.