Impossible to imagine today, but someone was hired to “compute the stumpage” of logging Armstrong Grove in 1907 in preparation of its upcoming sale to loggers. For more background, search the Press Democrat archives for the January 20, 2008 article by Gaye LeBaron (sorry, no permanent link available).
AXE THREATENS GIGANTIC GROVE
Forest Reservation of the Late Colonel J. B. Armstrong Said to be in Danger of Destruction
One of the only two groves of redwood trees in Sonoma county remaining unmarred by the woodman’s axe is now threatened with the fate of destruction. It is the Armstrong grove of twenty acres near Guerneville, not far from the famous Bohemian grove, famed throughout the world. It is now owned by Walter Armstrong and Mrs. Lizzie Jones, children of J. B. Armstrong.
It is said that men representing the “lumber interests” have been dealing with the present owners of this magnificent woodland, and that an agreement has been reached regarding the price that will be paid for the monarchs of the forest. F. W. Hoffman is now in the grove computing the stumpage.
The grove was reserved by the late Colonel J. B. Armstrong when he sold or cut the timber on the rest of his land, who declared that Armstrong grove should remain the heritage of seceding generations. The trees there are among the best in the state. Some of them were big trees when the pyramids of Egypt were built. They are the few remaining monuments of antiquity of California. Since the despoiler’s axe has cleared away nearly all their noble fellows, these giant redwoods have been one of the great sights of Sonoma county.
Their destruction will be deeply regretted by all who know them. To cut these towering trees into material to build bridges and barns seems an equal sacrilege to the tearing down of the Washington monument and using its stones to pave an alley. Even worse, for a new Washington monument could be built within a year or two; but a new grove of redwoods cannot be grown in less than four thousand years.– Press Democrat, August 24, 1907
REDWOODS TO BE CUT DOWN
Armstrong Grove Likely To Be Sold At Once
The beautiful grove of redwood timber near Guerneville, known as Armstrong’s grove, is likely to be sold in the near future. It is probable that when the transfer has been made the many handsome trees in the grove will be cut down and made into timber. Men representing lumber interests have been negotiating for the purchase of the timber for some time…Professor Freedom W. Hoffman, in charge of the Sebastopol schools, has been engaged the past week in estimating the quantity of timber in the grove, and when this task has been completed, it is understood the sale of the grove will be consummated.
[..]– Santa Rosa Republican, August 23, 1907