My beloved Gus
dating back to 1847
by Debby Garman
In 2005 my husband convinced me to give up nine acres of hobby farm and forest in the Oregon Coast range foothills and move into downtown Hillsboro by luring me with a historic Craftsman Hillsboro home with this huge California Sequoia in the 1/3 acre corner lot. Because of its majestic presence, I named the tree Augustus, or Gus for short.
My beloved Gus is part of Hillsboro's history, one of a number of Sequoiadendron giganteum attributed to nurseryman John R. Porter, who moved to Oregon from Ohio in1847 and opened a nursery. Porter went south to prospect for gold during the 1849 California Gold Rush and rode back to Oregon, not with gold in his saddlebags, but with cones of the giant sequoia. He cultivated the seeds and began planting them in Washington County. Other sequoias from Porter's nursery are still growing tall at the Washington County Courthouse in Hillsboro and around Forest Grove.
California sequoias are some of the most massive trees on the planet. Here is a link to more details about them: https://www.savetheredwoods.org/redwoods/giant-sequoias/
Historic trees like Gus are so special, and I hope we can respect, steward and treasure them for their incredible value in the landscape and our lives.