The Coolidge Tree in Underwood Park, Mendocino County

I’ve lived in Fort Bragg since 2000 and I’ve been “doing” local logging history pretty much since I arrived.  I thought I knew the whereabouts of all the big trees in Mendocino County but not this one – it has me flummoxed. The sign says it’s the Coolidge Tree.

1930s WOMAN DRIVING CONVERTIBLE CAR THROUGH OPENING IN GIANT SEQUOIA TREE TRUNK COOLIDGE TREE MENDOCINO CALIFORNIA

I looked through my files and could find no mention of it. There’s nothing in Wiki about it. Huh! Well I kept nosing around and found this photo:

Coolidge Tree, Mendocino Co. CA

The writing at the bottom says, “The Coolidge Tree” – “On Redwood Highway.  The Coolidge Tree was named after President Coolidge’s father. It was 305′ high and had a circumference of 58′ . The Coolidge Tree was tunneled between 1910 and 1915. The Coolidge tree was cut down in 1938 when it appeared ready to topple and was growing in  Underwood Park.” Underwood Park? Never heard of it. Back to the books. According to Wiki, “Underwood Park is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County. It is located near U.S. Route 101 0.25 miles south-southwest of Leggett.” Well the Chandelier Tree is in Leggett. Is this another name for the Chandelier Tree?”

Chandelier Tree in Leggett, Mendocino County

Can anyone help please?

 

Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad at Fulton, CA. (a 3 ft narrow-gauge railroad)

When we lived in Kentfield in Marin in the 1990’s one the family’s favorite day trips was down over the Golden Gate Bridge, down the Peninsula and along Route 17 to Felton.  I had never been up close to a Shay loco before let alone ridden behind one.  I’m not sure wife Sarah and the kids were as entranced as was I. Looking at these photos taken some 25 years ago brings back many happy memories.

The Dixian Shay we rode behind was built in 1912.  She was originally owned by the Alaculsy Lumber Company, and was used on the Smokey Mountain Railroad in Tennessee. The Dixiana is named for a small narrow-gauge mining railroad, now abandoned, out of Dixiana,

The tender of Shay #1

The tender of Shay #1

Shay #1

Shay #1

View of the Shay from one of the open air passenger cars

View of the Shay from one of the open air passenger cars

The steam and gears that fascinated me

The steam and gears that fascinated me

These photos were taken before the age of digital cameras. Alas, I didn’t have a movie camera. If I had one I’d like to think I could have taken this vid ……..

What happened in the life of a 1,341 year old redwood?

We, as in our computer guru, Roger Thornburn and me, are in the process of creating posters to affix to the outside wall of our (The Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Historical Society) soon to be Museum/Library. The photo below must have been taken a long while ago based on the last date and the clothes the man is wearing. The copy I gave to Roger was quite grungy. He’s done a great job of cleaning it up and making all the data readable. Double click on the photo to see all the dates clearly.

Section of a 1,341 year old Redwood tree

Section of a 1,341 year old Redwood tree

Thanks Roger.

The Drive-thru Chandelier (Redwood) Tree at Leggett, CA

First, where is Leggett? Leggett (formerly, Leggett Valley) is a place in Mendocino County, California. It is located on the South Fork of the Eel River 17 miles northwest of Laytonville, at an elevation of 984 feet. You can get there from Fort Bragg (the home of our club’s Model Railroad Layout) via a VERY twisty State Route 1, whose northern terminus with U.S. Route 101 is just outside the community. How big is it? The town of Leggett includes a single gas station, K-12 school, a convenience store, pizza parlor, fire station and Drive-Thru Tree. The Drive-thru tree is named the Chandelier Tree.

It is a VERY large Redwood:

Chandelier Tree. Sign

Chandelier Tree. Sign

Can you really drive through it? Yes, and you have been able to do so for many years. Look at the age of the cars in the gallery below:

 

50-Million-Year-Old Redwood Chunk Found in Diamond Mine

How long have “our” coastal redwoods existed? Well, a search for diamonds in Canada’s far north turned up a rare fossil — a chunk of a redwood sealed in volcanic rock more than 50 million years ago. A search for diamonds in Canada’s far north turned up a rare fossil — a chunk of a redwood sealed in volcanic rock more than 50 million years ago. A study of the well-preserved specimen, which also contains a sliver of amber, shows that the now-icy region where it was found had a swampier past. The wood was found a few years ago in a kimberlite pipe, named the Panda pipe, over 1,000 feet below Earth’s surface at the Ekati diamond mine, just south of the Arctic Circle in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the researchers say.

50 million year old piece of Redwood

50 million year old piece of Redwood

As Peanuts would say – “Good grief”.

Big Trees in pics from way back then

I love big trees. One of my great pleasures is taking a drive to Eureka and stopping in at the Avenue of the Giants. I like it best when it’s pouring rain!!!

This pic shows, in part, why I like them so much – you stand by an old redwood and you are standing next to over a thousand years of history. Look at this pic to get the idea:

Time capsule

Time capsule

Amazing isn’t it. I don’t know how old the trees are in the gallery below apart from a lot. Alas I have few details of where they were located or cut. Double click on any one to set the gallery in action.