CALAVERAS BIG TREES STATE PARK – Ever heard of The Stump? It isn’t some Peg Leg Smith Liar’s Contest story. Nope. This is the REAL deal.
If we only knew then what we know now, tree huggers would be up in arms. California has the oldest, biggest and tallest trees in the world. They tell the story of fires, floods and climate change spanning thousands of years. But little was known about them over 150 years ago in 1853 when one spectacular forest giant was felled (cut down). Newcomers to California just couldn’t believe their eyes. They saw the biggest tree that anyone has EVER seen! Planning to take JUST the bark on a trip around the world and sell tickets to see it, the bark was stripped from the tree in ten-foot high sections, marked for reassembly. When the public tour launched, the bark made it to San Francisco, then New York where it was consumed in a fire. The massive, monstrous forest giant was then felled, perhaps because it had been damaged after its bark was removed, but definitely to be used as an attraction. A hotel, dance pavilion and bowling alley all were built on or around the tree stump and fallen tree. Here are some interesting facts about it: