Exhibition: Big Basin's Auto Tree - One Tree Many Stories
Exhibition Dates: April 9 - November 27, 2016
In May of 1900, Andrew P. Hill photographed members of the Big Basin Exploration Committee in front of one of the giant redwoods. The committee decided to form the Sempervirens Club, and the effort to save Big Basin began. After the park became a reality, that giant redwood became known as the “Auto Tree.” People would park cars inside the fire scar to show the enormity of it.
Local historian and museum curator Frank Perry has been collecting photographs and postcards of the Auto Tree for about 30 years; this exhibit will share gems from his extensive collection documenting the tree from 1900 to the present. Some newly-discovered photographs and artifacts will also be displayed. Young and old visitors alike will enjoy the activity table with redwood habitat specimens. Beyond a showcase of fun photographs of old automobiles, this exhibition provides an opportunity to teach about redwood ecology and conservation, and discuss the earliest history of our state parks.