A massive sequoia tree that was carved into a tunnel in the 1800s toppled to the ground during a winter storm in California on Sunday, according to Calaveras Big Trees State Park officials.
The Sequoia tree, which was also referred to as the Pioneer Cabin Tree, was almost 100 feet tall and 22 feet in diameter, the park said.
The Pioneer Cabin Tree was one of the last giant sequoia trees in the state with tunnels carved through the middle, according to park officials.
Lightning strikes hollowed out the base of the massive tree in the 1800s, and in 1881 the base of the tree was squared off, allowing people to pass beneath it, according to the park.
“The Pioneer Cabin Tree helped visitors experience the enormous size of the ancient sequoias,” park officials said in the statement. “For 60 years, tourists rode horses and carriages through the Pioneer Cabin Tree, and in the 1920s automobiles passed through it. Thousands of visitors posed for photos at the tree.”
According to the park, the tree was brought down by a combination of heavy storm runoff and root decay, which caused it to shatter at its base.
On the Calaveras Big Trees State Park Facebook page, many shared photos of their vacation to visit the Pioneer Cabin Tree and mourned its loss.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park officials said the trail where the tree fell is temporarily closed, and park officials are determining what to do with the tree.
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