When Americans Lived In Tree Stumps

There are trees, and then there are trees out west — ancient sequoias. Pioneers actually lived in them. It sounds improbable today, but in the late 19th century houses were carved inside massive tree stumps and were a staple of life in states like Oregon, Washington, and California, where the lumber industry was booming. Crafty by nature, the pioneers took the stumps and created homes, dance floors, hotels….you name it. Known as sentinels of the West, these giant trees were mythical to the rest of the country. Pioneers wrote home with stores about the giant sequoias, often telling stories of how they had been converted into sheds, huts and houses. They became a place to store animals, provisions, and anything else that needed the kind of security the walls of a tree that could grow over 30 feet wide could provide. They were so wide and so solid that you could carve a tunnel through them. Most importantly……they were free.