Big Stump

Posted on 4 November 2013

Big Stump

California’s “Mammoth Tree Grove” (now known as Calaveras North Grove): the place where Americans discovered giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in 1852, and the place where—just months later—they felled the Discovery Tree just for the hell of it. On the stump of the 1,300-year-old tree, tourist promoters built a dance pavilion. As seen in this collage, the so-called Big Stump House was a favorite subject for stereographic photographers in the post-Civil War era, when transcontinental railroads promoted the western “grand tour.”

(For a detailed history of giant sequoia, see chapter 1 of my book Trees in Paradise.)

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