Behind me is the world’s second largest of the Giant Sequoias.
It was named after, then General, and later President, Ulysses S. Grant.
But there is some dispute over how his name got to be applied to this tree.
One account has Joseph Hardin Thomas, a logger from Visalia, discovering the entire grove and naming this tree in 1862.
Another account says Lucretia Baker of Porterville was camping here with her family in 1867, and that SHE named the tree after General Grant.
And she even has a letter from later President Grant thanking her for the honor.
In 1890, this area was declared a national park.
Same time as Yosemite, same legislation, in fact.
And in 1940, General Grant Park was incorporated into Kings Canyon National Park.
And that’s how Grant Grove came to be on the map of Fresno County.
Oh, by the way, on July 31st 2015, the Rough Fire began.
It burned until November 5th that same year destroying more than 151 thousand acres and even reaching the General Grant Tree.
You can still see the enormous burn scar left behind.
The tree was damaged, but it is still standing… strong.
With Josh Dean behind the camera, I’m A.J. Fox.