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Pages of History: The origin of Wonder Stumps

From pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, November 1959.

Many years ago, a roaring fire swept over the forested area a few miles north and west of Crescent City.

The furious blaze leaped through dry underbrush and topped out in the giant redwood trees. For days, the fire burned, wiping out centuries-old forest monarchs, driving animals from their once green domain.

Each redwood became a gigantic torch. In a holocaust of sparks, the forest regents crashed to the blackened earth as the fire consumed them. Their ashes turned to charred dust and then disappeared as the fire ebbed and died.

For a long time, the dead hills and valleys lay waste. Then, slowly, green shoots burst through the ground and in a few short years, the forest began the long task of self-restoration.

Great snaggy stumps point tortured fingers toward the sky as if to call man’s attention to their silent agony. Twisted and gnarled redwood, now silvery white with dead age, became the skeletal spires of forgotten cathedrals.

These are Del Norte’s Wonder Stumps, grim in death, yet still bearing a stoic majesty. Each Wonder Stump stands alone, a desolate, but still proud monument to the grandeur of the redwoods.

Burglar helps himself


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