Buying the Big Trees

New York Sun

Representative De Vries of California, has introduced a bill directing the Secretary of the Interior to buy the "mammoth tree grove" and "South Park Grove of Big Trees" in Calaveras County, Cal., which are now owned by private persons. The idea is to make national parks of them. By far the largest of these big tree groves is in Mariposa County, and it was a part of the public domain when it was granted to California by Act of Congress, to be held for all time as a place of public resort.

If the two groves which the California congressman wishes to turn into national parks do not contain as many trees as some of the others, they have the compensating advantage of showing the biggest trees of them all, and they were also the first to be discovered. The first the world heard of these giants of vegetation was in 1852, when a white hunter named Dowd reached the larger of the Calaveras groves and found a cluster of ninety-two of these great trees covering a space of fifty acres. When he returned to civilization and told his story, he was credited with being an uncommonly talented liar.

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