But the chinese chestnut (Castanea mollisima) survived just fine, thank you very much, and you'll sometimes see it planted locally as an ornamental. The one in the photograph is across Fourth Ave from the Farmers Market. When the flowers fully open, as I expect they will next week, the 'fragrance' is quite strong. I think I like it. It must have been an overpowering experience in the forests prior to the blight. And have you ever tried to handle the uber-spiny shell of a chestnut fruit? Yikes!! Did the indigenous 'Americans' really run around barefoot? Double yikes!! Things was sure different back then.
Don't confuse true chestnuts with the horse-chestnut, which is a close relative of the buckeye. No relation except for spiny husk. True chestnuts have a simple leaf resembling that of a beech, but considerably bigger.
And DO go back to that first month of my posts for a walking tour of the trees around Kerrytown and the Farmers' Market. Chestnut included.