DAVELAND > Disneyland > Frontierland > PETRIFIED TREE
BACKSTORY (Sept. 1957–Present): Alongside the banks of the Rivers of America is a large section of a petrified tree that weighs five tons and measures 7.5' in diameter. The original tree from the Pike Petrified Forest in Colorado was estimated to have been 200' tall. It was part of a sub-tropical forest some 55-70 million years ago. Scientists believe it to be of the Redwood Sequoia species. Presented to Lillian Disney by Walt as a gag gift for their 31st anniversary present...and then promptly given to Disneyland!The Pike Petrified Forest, known somewhat as a tourist trap, was owned at different times between the 1920’s and the 1960’s by the the Hendersons, Millers, and Bakers. The visitor center for the Pike Petrified Forest is still used as the visitor center for Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. From the Jack Baker era, there exists a letter from Walt to Baker stating that the stump was to be delivered directly to Disneyland, and is dated July 19, 1956. Based upon the registry and the letter, the trip to the Fossil Beds was probably more intentional than coincidental and occurred on July 11, 1956. The letter would also call to question whether the stump was ever delivered to their home at Holmby Hills (a rumor that has persisted for years). The photos of Jack Baker, the letter & registry, and the moving of the stump came from this site: idareds.com. I cannot verify whether or not these photos are actually of Walt and the stump that is now at Disneyland or not. I’ll let you the reader decide. The two photos of Jack Baker were obviously from a later time period.
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