me and THE TREE
I hope I'm not the first one to tell you that there is much more to Anaheim than Disneyland. If you have never explored the hidden treasures "outside the berm" I encourage you to do it. I adore Anaheim - heck, I was born here! - and I recently purchased a home in the Anaheim Colony historic district. To say that this neighborhood is up-and-coming would be a gross understatement, since the Colony is already over 160 years old, but the area and its history are being rediscovered, restored and made to shine once again.
Since we're revisiting the Swiss Family Treehouse this week, let's take a short drive up West Street, just north of Disneyland to gawk at the gigantic Moreton Bay Fig Tree. During construction of Disneyland's treehouse in 1962, Imagineers came here to poke around and examine the twisty roots of this behemoth tree planted in the 1800s by Anaheim's first horticulturist Tim Carroll.And while we're on the subject...
The tree is completely impressive and a living piece of Anaheim's heritage - just one of the fabulous features you'll discover along this street.
The original movie set for the Walt Disney picture "Swiss Family Robinson" was constructed in the 200-foot spread of a living Samaan tree on the island of Tobago near Trinidad. Art director John Howell famously spotted it through a gap in a fence at the corner of a cricket field just outside the town of Goldsborough.
Although the Disney Studio was expected to remove all evidence of movie-making from the island at the end of shooting, the native Tobagoans regarded the treehouse highly and left it in the Samaan tree as a tourist attraction. In 1960 the tree and the three remaining thatched-roofed rooms (barren of any props or furnishings) was put up for sale for $9000. While I don't know if anyone actually bought it, it's well-known that the treehouse remained until a hurricane swept the structures away.
HOWEVER! From all reports, the Samaan tree itself still survives today, its branches now filled with orchids and bromeliads. I've checked online for a picture of the tree as it currently looks but haven't been able to find one. Is anybody out there reading this in Tobago who could snap a photo and give us a report?