Public Domain Photo: The Wawona Tunnel Tree, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite Valley, California.
Public Domain Photo: The Wawona Tunnel Tree, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite Valley, California, photo by C. Cameron Macauley taken on June 1, 1946.
Public Domain Photo: The Wawona Tunnel Tree, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite Valley, California, Library of Congress photo, 1918 June 15.
The 2300-years-old Wawona Tree (or Wawona Tunnel Tree), was a famous Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum, also known as Sierra redwood, or Wellingtonia) that stood in Mariposa Grove in the Yosemite National Park, California. It had a height of 227 feet (69 meters) and was 90 feet (27 meters) in circumference.
In 1881a tunnel was cut through the Giant Sequoia through a scar caused by wildfire, at a cost of $75 paid to two workers. The Wawona Tree had a slight lean which aggravated on tunneling. However, with its new status as the Wawona Tunnel Tree, it became a very popular tourist attraction, as thousands of tourists came to have their photos taken driving through it or standing beneath it. It was photographed accommodating everything from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles, before the Wawona Tunnel Tree fell in 1969 because of an estimated two-ton load of snow on its crown.