This is the tree that was carved through in the 1880's so people could walk/drive through it's base. Fires had partly burned it already, so the 49ers decided to finish the job and create a tourist attraction. In that they were very successful! Seems like lately it was barely alive, with just a few green branches.
The Calaveras Big Trees Association used it as their logo. Guess they'll be changing that now.
People loved taking pictures of themselves in the passage under the tree.
But as in all things, even giant sequoia, time eventually lays us low. Now the tree can fertilize the soil and open up a little sun to shine on the forest floor.
Some personal advice. The unbelievable size of these trees can only truly be appreciated in person. Pictures do not do them justice at all. If you are ever in central California, they are worth a visit for sure. In the spring, the dogwood blossoms add an extra bit of beauty. You'll never regret the lovely drive, nor forget the experience.