Spike Maras of Enumclaw holds a photo of the tree from which the giant section was cut that is displayed at the Lakewood Library. Maras was involved with cutting the tree and bringing it to Tacoma,
Have you ever looked at the huge section of tree on display at the Lakewood Library? Given any thought to the details of the tree and how it happened to be situated at the Lakewood Library? What did it take to cut that tree down and how was it moved?
A lot of the history of that big tree is contained on information sheets posted on the tree itself but on Thursday evening one of the men who helped cut that monster down and bring it to the area provided a lot of background during a meeting organized by the Lakewood Historical Society.
Spike Maras of Enumclaw was a young logger in early 1946. While he didn‚Äôt personally fell the giant Douglas fir that was later dubbed ‚ÄúThe Big One, ‚Äùhe watched as it was being taken down by two contract loggers, Doyle and Bob Miller. It took three days for the two of them to get the job done.
Speaking to a crowd of about 60 at the Lakewood Library, Maras explained that the tree was cut because it had been struck by lightning years earlier and was rotting from the inside. The tree was in a stand of timber located seven miles south of Packwood that was owned by Northwest Door Company of Tacoma. Its president was Herman Tenzler and he had the section of the tree brought to the company‚Äôs factory so it could be put on display.
Tenzler paid Maras $1,200 to deliver the cross section to his plant.
The section of tree stayed at the company‚Äôs plant for years and when the firm was sold to St. Regis Lumber Co., Tenzler made arrangements to get it moved to Lakewood where he had financed the start of the Lakewood Library which originally was named for his late wife, Flora B. Tenzler.
The tree section measures 12 feet, 9 inches in diameter when measured inside the bark. It is 14 feet including the bark at the widest point. It weighs 9.25 tons and the tree was 238 feet tall. It was born in 1359.
In addition to hearing Maras tell about the giant tree, Lakewood Historical Society and Museum President Becky Huber provided the history of the library itself from its origin in 1944 approval by voters through opening of the first building in 1947. The library was moved several times in its history, including one stint in the basement of the original Park Lodge Elementary School. The current building was opened in 1963 with funding from the Tenzler Foundation and Friends of the Library. It has been remodeled and expanded several times since then. The original cost was $239,800 for the building with furnishings bringing it up to $400,000
Becky Huber, Lakewood Historical Society President, talks about the Lakewood Library history during a recent meeting at the library attended by a crowd of about 70 members and other interested individuals.
The Lakewood Historical Society holds monthly programs on a variety of historical subjects. Next month‚Äôs meeting is slated for the Clover Park High School performing arts center on Feb. 17. The programs are free.