The Big Cedar Stump

I had read about this guy, but had to see for myself the famous giant western red cedar stump in Smokey Point, Wa. He’s quite rotund at 20 feet in diameter and was once a towering 200 feet tall. This stump has changed many locations over the last 100 years, so I was glad to have found him in his last recorded place at the Smokey Point Rest Area off of I-5 (Milepost 207).

The tree was discovered by early settlers of the area, but unfortunately in 1893 a fire started in its hollow base causing the 1250 year old giant to die. In 1916 three archways were cut into the stump, after the top was removed, it was big enough to drive through. It was then cut from its base in 1922 when Slim Husby and Ole Reinseth drug it by manual horsepower 150 yards North of its original location to be placed on a concrete base.

The big cedar stayed on its new pedestal until 1939 when time had caused its enormous walls to crack. At that time it was dismantled in sections and brought to a third location on the newly completed U.S. 99 to become a roadside attraction. A sign read “Relic of a Vanquished Forest.” May of that year the Crown Prince Olav and Princess Martha of Norway took an excursion to drive through the stump during their 10 week tour of America.

The crowned Prince and Princess of Norway (engagement photo circa 1929)


In 1971 it was moved one last time to its current location. Locals refer to this big guy as The Stump, The Arlington Stump or The Big Cedar Stump. Sadly, you can no longer drive under it, but you can still walk through and admire its ancient beauty. I found it to be fascinating and still quite fit for a modern day princess like me!

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