Weird California
Weird California
Weird California - By Joe Parzanese

The Living Chimney Tree

Map 1111 Avenue of the Giants, Phillipsville, California 95559

The Chimney Tree was created by a fire burning out its center.
The Chimney Tree was created by a fire burning out its center.

The Chimney Tree
The Chimney Tree

Located near the end of the Avenue of the Giants is the small town of Phillipsville consisting of probably not much more than 100 residents. About a mile south of town stands the Chimney Tree. At over 78 feet tall, the still living Chimney Tree suffered from a fire back in 1914 leading to the center of the tree being completely burned out. This created a hollow room like space inside the tree that is roughly 12 and a half feet wide. There is even a working front door. The tree is free to visit. The tree is very similar to the World Famous Tree House south of it in Piercy. Piercy has added a light-bulb way up at the top of their hollow tree near its "ceiling".

Next door is the Living Chimney Tree Grill. At one time, from about 1975 until perhaps as recent as 2008, the area next to the Living Chimney Tree consisted of Hobbiton, USA. This was a full on half mile nature walk past scenes taken from Tolkien's The Hobbit. Statues of Gandalf and Gollum along with scenes of Smaug were located on the hillside, some with speakers where one could press a button and perhaps hear a narration of the scene. The site was supposedly officially endorsed by the San Francisco Hobbit Club. Sadly for Hobbit aficionados, the park closed.

Another former Phillipsville location that is now gone was the Famous One Log House. This was a giant redwood log turned into a bedroom. It was moved to Bear Valley.

Despite some missing or closed attractions, the Living Chimney Tree is still open and free for travelers to stop by. All pictures here were taken by Dan Tabouli. Dan also saw this weird looking statue of a man near an abandoned and closed building. Dan has dubbed him Phillpsville Phil. If anyone knows his story, we'd love to hear it.

Phillipsville Phil?
Phillipsville Phil?
This weird statue stands next to an abandoned building in Phillipsville.
This weird statue stands next to an abandoned building in Phillipsville.

Outside References:

Last Edited: 2014-07-20