Church of One Tree

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The Church of One Tree is a historic building in the city of Santa Rosa, California, USA. It was built in 1873/4[1][2] from a single redwood tree milled in Guerneville, California (also known as Stumptown).

The tree used to construct the Church stood 275 feet high and was 18 feet in diameter. The single tree when milled, produced 78,000 board feet of lumber, with the lumber costing a total of $3,000.[3][4] It was the original home to the First Baptist Church of Santa Rosa, located in downtown on B Street.[5] It was moved to its current location to avoid destruction.[6] The building has been home to several other unique uses in more recent decades. Robert Ripley, a native of Santa Rosa, wrote about the Church of One Tree — where his mother attended services, — as one of his earliest installments of “Believe It or Not!” In 1970, Ripley repurposed the Church of One Tree as the Ripley Memorial Museum which was stocked with curiosities and “Believe it or Not!” memorabilia for nearly two decades.[7][8] From the 1950s until 1998 it was the Ripley Memorial Museum.[9][10] Starting in 2008 and continuing through 2009, the City of Santa Rosa utilized grant funding to re-lead the stained glass windows, as well as repair, paint and renovate the interior of the Church, and the Recreation and Parks Department rents out the space for events. It is located adjacent to Juilliard Park[11] and less than one block from the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens historic site.[3]



  1. ^ Paul T. Hellmann (14 February 2006). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. pp. 118–. ISBN 1-135-94859-3.
  2. ^ Sandra Gurvis (April 1994). The cockroach hall of fame: and 101 other off-the-wall museums. Carol Pub. Group. ISBN 978-0-8065-1501-4.
  3. ^ a b " One church, one tree, third incarnation ". Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Feb 22, 2011
  4. ^ Sonoma County Library Heritage Archives
  5. ^ Bob Voliva (12 October 1999). Santa Rosa. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 73–. ISBN 978-1-4396-2711-2.
  6. ^ "Raising the steeple of Church of One Tree at its Juilliard Park (Santa Rosa, California) location"
  7. ^ "SR's one-tree icon gets new life, thanks to patience, hard work". Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Feb 24, 2011
  8. ^ Stephen Metzger (1 November 2005). Day Trips® from Sacramento, 2nd. Globe Pequot. pp. 156–. ISBN 978-0-7627-5208-9.
  9. ^ Rec & Parks. "Church of One Tree Grand Opening". Archived from the original on 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  10. ^ Jean Doppenberg (1 September 2005). Insiders' Guide to California's Wine Country. Globe Pequot Press. pp. 346–. ISBN 978-0-7627-3688-1.
  11. ^ Don Edwards (1 May 1986). Making the Most of Sonoma County: A California Guide. Valley of the Moon Press. ISBN 978-0-9615030-0-0.
  12. ^ Shirley Carter (1986). The First Baptist Church of Santa Rosa: The Church of One Tree.

Coordinates: 38°26′10″N 122°42′50″W / 38.43604°N 122.7140°W / 38.43604; -122.7140