Countless people have visited the Calaveras Big Tree State Park in California. The big thing most of them wanted to see was the Pioneer Cabin Tree, better known as the “tunnel tree." It's been standing since the 1880’s and even back then it was a gigantic tree. By the time 1912 arrived, local residents cut a giant hole in the middle of the bottom of it for easy passage. This practice became the norm back in those days as it was easier to go right through the giant trees rather than going around them.
This particular tree has stood for over one thousand years and it was the last “tunnel tree” standing. That fact made it even more special and visitors came from all over the country to see it and walk through it. The problem with the tree is that the hole actually makes it weak structurally. It may look strong but anything with a hole it in isn’t as strong as it is without it. It’s really amazing that it lasted as long as it did.
Recently, a winter storm brought the tree down and now there are no more “tunnel trees” in existence. These photos not only show some of the great history of the big tree but they also show the sad state the storm left it in.