Historic California trees topple in wind storm

Historic Civil War tree topples at California State Capitol in Sacramento(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

A windstorm has destroyed three historic trees planted at the California Capitol about 120 years ago to honor Civil War veterans. Gusts topping 50 miles-per-hour Wednesday night uprooted a tulip tree from the Five Forks, Virginia, battlefield and an American elm from President William McKinley's tomb in Ohio. They fell like dominos, breaking off a box elder from the Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, battleground.

The California State Capitol Museum says the tulip and box elder were among trees transplanted as saplings in 1897 from 40 battlefields.

Democratic Assemblyman Ken Cooley of Rancho Cordova says the elm was planted in 1902 to honor McKinley, a Civil War veteran who held the office when the Memorial Grove was planted.

Cooley is hoping officials can salvage the wood, perhaps to turn into artwork.