Location: 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach Cost: $8.75 gate fee
Information: Pebble Beach Co., 647-7500 or www.pebblebeach.com
Pebble Beach is synonymous with beauty, luxury, golf - and a tree.
Not just any old tree.
This is a 250-plus-year-old Monterey cypress, a species native in only two places in the world, both on the Peninsula. This particular tree is so special, it has a name, The Lone Cypress, and has been trademarked by its landowner, the Pebble Beach Co.
Since 1919, The Lone Cypress has been an emblem of the company, images of the distinctive tree rising from its rocky perch appearing on everything from stock certificates to golf clubs. S.F.B. Morse, founder of the Pebble Beach Co., chose the tree as a symbol, according to Neal Hotelling, who handles licensing and tracks history for the company.
"In this tree," Hotelling once wrote, "Morse saw the solidity of the rock, vaguely reminiscent of Gibraltar, yet with the life of a rugged tree, native only to this area, clinging with tenacity above the power of the ocean. Land, tree and ocean were the basis of this development, and therefore The Lone Cypress became the perfect symbol."
It's a regular stop on 17 Mile Drive, where people from all over the world gaze at its gnarled, windswept form and snap its picture to show friends and family. No televised golf tournament is complete without a camera pan of the tree.
In his article, Hotelling noted the difficulty in maintaining a live trademark.
"On one particularly stormy night in the 1940s, S.F.B. Morse awoke. Concerned about the valued tree he drove down to the point, only to find another key executive, Charlie Olmstead, already there standing watch."
The tree has been braced against the wind with wires and a retaining wall built to help hold it in the place it has occupied for more than two centuries.