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Tree Round Timeline

WORKING ON COMMON GROUND

The Tree Round Timeline Project began in 2019 with a conversation between Pinchot Partners Board member Bob Guenther and local woodworker, Denny Larson. 

The two had an idea to bring history to life in the local high schools, by using the growth rings of a large tree round to show the dates of historical events. 

A 298-year old Douglas Fir was scheduled to be removed in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for safety reasons. The Forest Environmental Coordinator for the GPNF at the time, Elizabeth Robinson, offered the tree to Pinchot Partners for what would become 22 educational displays.

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Mapping History

By counting the rings from the center outward, you can plot the dates of historical events — even your birth year—on the concentric circles made by the tree's growth rings. 

Here are a few dates we plotted:

1720  This tree took root near Randle, WA, where the Cowlitz Indian Tribe lived from time immemorial, near two villages of the Upper Cowlitz (Taidnapam) people.

1776  Declaration of Independence signed.

1789  George Washington became first U.S. president.

1805  Lewis and Clark arrived at the Pacific Ocean.

1809  Abraham Lincoln was born.

1825  Douglas Fir species named after David Douglas.

1836  Father Blanchet established the Cowlitz Mission.

1854  First settlers arrived at Skate Creek, Packwood.

1855  The Cowlitz Indian Tribe chose to remained treaty-free and not cede their ancestral lands to the U.S. government.

1862  Civil War began.

1889  Washington became a state.

1942  World War II began.   

1962  Rachel Carson published Silent Spring.

1980  Mount St. Helens erupted.

2000  Cowlitz Indian Tribe recognized by U.S.

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About the creators

Bob Guenther and Denny Larson. 

Bob Guenther is one of the founding members of Pinchot Partners. He worked for Centralia Power Plant for 34 years and has been with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #77 (IBEW 77) for 51 years, and the Electrical Machinist Union #297 for 9 years.

He is a member of the Lewis County Economic Alliance, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council; President of the Thurston-Lewis-Mason County Labor Council; and does legislative work for IBEW 77.

Denny Larson is life-long word worker and builder who operates a custom lumber business in Winlock. Dennis put countless hours into sanding and varnishing the 23 rounds, referred to as "cookies." 

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