The Pioneer Cabin Tree, estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, toppled from its historic height in Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Calaveras County, California, over the weekend.
In photos captured on Sunday, the “drive-through” massive sequoia tree could not endure the flooding caused by rainstorms throughout the weekend. Jim Allday, who is a volunteer at the park and took the photos, told the San Francisco Gate that the tree fell around 2 p.m. and “shattered” when it hit the ground. He also added people had been walking through it that same day.
Back in the 1880s, the Pioneer Cabin was hollowed out so tourists (and even cars!) could pass through it. It is a stop on the “Big Trees Trail” within the state park.
“When I went out there (Sunday afternoon), the trail was literally a river, the trail is washed out,” Allday said. “I could see the tree on the ground, it looked like it was laying in a pond or lake with a river running through it.”
The Calaveras Big Trees Association provided information about the historic landmark’s fall on their Facebook page, and wrote, “The Pioneer Cabin tree has fallen! This iconic and still living tree – the tunnel tree – enchanted many visitors. The storm was just too much for it.”
Within hours, the post had over 1,000 comments and nearly 6,000 reactions as people mourned one of their favorite locations.
“I guess I should just be thankful that I got to see it,” one Facebook user said.