Last week was the 10th anniversary of the cutting of the "Honking Tree," and a question remained unanswered (besides the obvious one of who the suspects are): What happened to the wood?
Back in 2009, plans were in the works to create a big, public memorial from the majority of the wood after nine large medallions were cut. Reports cited the memorial was supposed to be a replica of the Two Harbors Lighthouse to be placed somewhere in the city.
In 2015 - the last time the News-Chronicle reported the subject - the memorial still hadn't emerged. Now-former Mayor Randy Bolen was hopeful the memorial would be placed that year.
Ten years later, the memorial still hasn't been placed.
What happened to the wood?
It's been sitting in a garage. Specifically, it's been sitting in chainsaw wood artist John Gage's garage just outside of town.
After the tree was cut down, the city first contacted chainsaw carver Tom Sveine about creating a memorial.
Sveine said the mayor approached him about carving it, but due to the number of people who were invested in the project - and the fact that he was asked to do it without being paid for his work - he turned down the project. But Sveine recommended reaching out to Gage to see if he'd be interested.
Gage was also interested in carving the trunk into a memorial. But the committee in charge of the project had other ideas.
"That's what I do - I take logs of all sizes and carve them up," Gage said. "But I went to a meeting at City Hall and they decided they wanted a lighthouse made. I'm not much of a carpenter, but I thought, maybe I could do it."
The trunk was delivered to Gage's garage in one massive log. He reached out to Roy Lampela to mill the trunk into boards and started working on the project. He measured the lighthouse in order to scale it down to quarter-size and constructed a base. He started using a Dremel tool to make brick shapes on several of the boards.
As he started to plan for the rest of the project, Gage got an estimate for the glass work that would be needed for the top of the lighthouse. He doesn't remember what the price tag was, but it was definitely more than what the committee chair said they'd collected for the project: $60.
"And that's the last time anyone talked to me about it," Gage said. "It never went anywhere. I framed it up and monkeyed around with it for a while, but got busy and the interest in it faded out. The boards have mostly sat here."
Gage travels across the U.S. doing chainsaw artwork for several weeks out of the year and cited lack of time as partially why the project was never completed.
When asked, city representatives said they aren't sure what had happened with the project.
Gage said he's open to any ideas for the project. He's willing to give it over to another interested party, such as the Two Harbors High School woodshop class, and said he's planning to reach out to the city to see what should be done.