World's Largest Redwood Tree Service Station
The Redwood Tree Service Station was made from a 1,500 year old tree selected from the coastal redwood forests west of Ukiah. The tree was 250 feet high and 81 feet in circumference at the base when it was chopped down in 1936. It was painstakingly quartered, transported, reassembled, and cabled back together. A roof and canopy were added, then covered with redwood shakes. Two smaller log sections behind the main log became restrooms.
Nicknamed "The Stump" by locals, novel building has always been a popular Redwood Highway tourist stop and shutterbug magnet (that's the whole point of lugging a massive tree out of the forest to the town). The 1930s happened to be a fertile era for ancient wood service stations (Petrified wood gas stations were erected in Lamar, CO in 1932; and Decatur, TX in 1935).
The Redwood Tree Service Station has seen a succession of owners, first opened by Bob Ford and Al Weger; after several years, Ford bought out Wegner; after World War II Ford became partners with Jess Rawles. Older postcards on display in the log-museum declare "Rawles and Ford - At Your Service - Ukiah California." In 1962, Rawles bought the business from Ford, and eventually sold it to the Martyn family. Postcards were adjusted accordingly, and the stump continued to pump a variety of gasoline brands.
The stump no longer dispenses gas, but a car repair business still operates in the adjacent building under the name Redwood Tree Service Station. The Stump is maintained as a self-guided museum -- vintage pumps sit under its canopy.
The office interior is open during business hours, and displays framed historical photos and light-bleached newspaper clippings, an old cash register, assorted retired signs, oil cans and other petroliana.