|Wawona Tree, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite NP, California|
In 1881, The Scribner brothers were paid $75 for cutting a tunnel through the Wawona Tree, a Giant Sequoia tree, in Yosemite National Park, CA. The brothers were hired to cut the tree which, had an existing fire scar, by Yosemite Stage and Turnpike Company to create a tourist attraction. The tree tunnel was an instant success and visitors came to be photographed driving through the tree tunnel, first by Horse and later by Automobile
|The Scribner Brothers cutting the Wawona Tree|
The Tree tunnel would not only direct increased tourism (and conservation funds) to the National Park but also help establish the Park Service as a noteworthy bureaucratic agency.
The Wawona tree already had a slight lean pre-1881 which was increased post -tunnel and sadly the tree fell in 1969 under an estimated 2 tonnes of snow on its crown. At the time of falling it was estimated to have been 2,300 years old.
The tree is still in place, and a tourist attraction but is now known as The Fallen Tree Tunnel, providing a mini Eco-system for insects and animals of the park.
Although the Wawona tree has fallen there still exists another tree tunnel in California called the Chandelier Tree