i wish i had the number. >> andy, joanjoann, i feel so br about the news after talking to you. >> as you should. >> i feel better because you joined us. >> a world-famous musician dies and leaves his daughters his prized instrument. >> his love, his treasure, his heart, his voice. >> it's more than 300 years old and could be worth many millions. but this strange inheritance is about more than money. it's about a european countess, a father's legacy, and a huge financial dilemma for his heirs. >> it was very clear to us that he did not want it to be hidden away. [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] i'm jamie colby, and i'm on cape cod, massachusetts, heading
to the small town of wellfleet. i'm here to learn about a strange inheritance that shaped a family's life for half a century. >> my name is elena delbanco. in 2011, my sister and i inherited an extraordinary object from our father. this was my father's home for many years. he and my mother built it in 1955. >> elena's father was the virtuoso cellist bernard greenhouse, who died in 2011 at the age of 95. [ classical music plays ] greenhouse spent most of his career playing with the renowned beaux arts trio, which made its debut in 1955 and catapulted to fame. >> he was very warm and very charming but very involved with his work. and he traveled all the time as
he became more and more successful. >> as one of the world's premier cellists, bernard figured he should be playing one of the world's finest cellos. he began searching in europe for an instrument equal to his talent. >> he went to dealers and to instrument shops, and wherever he went, he said, "have you heard any rumors about great cellos?" >> in 1957, he found one in the west german city of aachen. your father came home with something he longed for, searched for. >> i was very young. but i knew that he had found something very important. >> very important, indeed. it was a stradivarius, crafted in italy around 1707 by the master of them all, antonio stradivari. it even has its own aristocratic title, "the countess of stanlein."
sound expensive? it was. >> it was a huge sum of money for us, for our family. and it made a huge difference in our lives to pay it off over many years. >> dealers estimate bernard paid around $100,000, an astronomical sum in the late 1950s, when the average american house sold for $18,000. but for greenhouse, the instrument became a part of him. >> he called it every superlative you could call it -- his love, his treasure, his heart, his voice. >> at the height of his career, greenhouse performed nearly 200 times a year. >> i always wanted to hop in the cello case and travel with my father wherever he was going. >> when greenhouse wasn't in concert, he taught at the manhattan school of music, juilliard, and here at home, in his cape cod studio.
this is where elena also played the cello as a child. you sometimes put your name in his appointment book to try to get time with him in lieu of a lesson, erasing the name of a student that was actually coming. >> i didn't do that to get a cello lesson. i did that to get an hour of his time. >> did you ever play the strad? >> no, never. >> why? >> i never played well enough to play the strad. >> by whose opinion? >> i guess by my father's, but i never wanted to. >> can i hear him play? >> i would love it. [ mid-tempo classical music plays ] having the music is wonderful. it's hard but wonderful. [ music continues ] isn't it beautiful?
>> wow! >> haunting. >> what's the first thing you do when you have to decide whether to keep or sell the family jewel? >> i think the first question you ask yourself is, "do you have any use for or love for the family jewel?" and then, i think a big part of it also is, "can you afford to keep the family jewel?" >> the financial implications of this strange inheritance worry elena and her husband, nicholas, who are both college professors nearing retirement. what would it have entailed to keep the strad? insurance? storage? >> coming up, of course, with the taxes that the government wants. >> did you hear from them? >> no, no, they just said, "let those people keep their inheritance." >> [ laughs ] >> "we have so many other people." yes, of course. >> so, does that weigh in to whether you have to sell something, the fact that you have to pay taxes? >> absolutely.
>> so, what should elena's family do? they decide it's too expensive to keep the strad. they're keenly aware that a successful auction could yield millions -- quite a nice nest egg in retirement. but selling a 300-year-old stradivarius is no small undertaking. >> it's a cutthroat world in the world of musical instruments. we came to understand all kinds of things that could go wrong. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question... the answer when we return. when you think about success, what does it look like? is it becoming a better professor by being a more adventurous student? is it one day giving your daughter the opportunity she deserves?
preferred to let us figure it out so that he could have it till the very last day of his life. >> i'm in boston to understand how elena and her family deal with their strange inheritance. elena does her homework and decides to sell the strad through chris reuning from reuning & son. chris is a rare-instrument dealer. he's also a cellist and a luthier, someone who makes or repairs stringed instruments. how do you decide what bernard's stradivarius is worth? >> well, i think the first thing, you have to evaluate the quality. and then it also helps to know what the market history has been. so, in the case of this cello, we did know what other stradivari cellos had sold for. and we could compare the quality of this one to those. >> back in 2002, a similar cello
sold for $5 million. but over the past several years, collectors have driven the price of rare instruments way up, and each one has its own history -- a unique story that's a big factor in whether it fetches a 6-, 7-, or even 8-figure price at auction. nobody knows this cello's story better than elena's husband, nicholas delbanco. a novelist by trade, delbanco actually wrote an entire book about the instrument. it's called "the countess of stanlein restored," and it describes the painstaking restoration his father-in-law commissioned for the countess back in the 1990s. >> the wear and tear on such instruments is very high. aside from all the physical stress, there's change in climate, change in temperature, change in humidity. and at a certain point, the cello was almost as weary as he. >> nicholas' book details a
harrowing process. the cello was popped open with a knife and sat in pieces for months while some of its wood was patched. >> bernie got more and more restless and more and more ready to have his heart's darling returned. he said, then, "i will never let it go again," and he never did. >> but he did play the strad for more than another decade, and he let his students play it, too. in the last years of his life, bernard remained so attached to the cello that he slept with it. chris reuning believes every serious bidder will demand proof that the countess has no significant hidden flaws. >> in this case, we actually did a c.t. scan of the cello. >> like a doctor does. >> yes. >> is that unusual? >> we don't do it very often, but in this case there were some questions, if there was a crack. >> chris reuning called me one day here at the shop and said, "john, i've got this cello that i need c.t.-scanned right away."
>> chris flies with the strad to a hospital in minnesota, where experts are ready to diagnose the patient. the worry? vast sums could be wiped from this multimillion-dollar sale if the countess has damage from cracks or, worse, wormholes made inside the cello by tiny larvae. would that equate to thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars? >> another quiz question... the answer in a moment. ♪
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>> in the fall of 2011, the heirs of bernard greenhouse anxiously await the results of a c.t. scan -- not on a person, but on a 300-year-old stradivari cello, known as the countess of stanlein. millions of dollars are at stake. radiologist steven sirr performed a scan just like this one. >> the diseases that affect the old cellos, they're usually caused by two things. one is cracks. the other abnormality is wormholes carved by larvae, which eat the channels of wood until sometimes there's hardly any original wood left. >> what exactly is happening as it goes through? >> the c.t. scanner produces x-rays, which are high-energy
light beams and very thin sheets. >> this is the actual c.t. scan of the stradivarius. chris shares with me his bottom line. >> this cello has been in constant use since 1800. and it's always been a player's instrument. so, it's been cared for beautifully. but there are cracks. >> whatever tiny cracks there might be, they don't affect the cello's unique sound. chris is able to set the official opening bid for bernard greenhouse's stradivari cello at a cool $6.2 million. there's just one hitch. the delbancos might not accept the highest bid if it's from such rich investor who just wants to lock the countess away in a vault. >> a cello is only half, perhaps not even half, itself if unheard. it had been his expressed desire
and conviction that it be played. >> and you made a decision that the strad was better in the hands of someone who could play it than on the shelf of someone who would pay more for it? >> well, potentially pay more for it, but we just didn't want it on a shelf. >> so, the idea was that they would be able to open the bids, look at all the factors -- the price, who's buying it -- and choose one of those bids. >> chris agrees to this unusual condition. it's not every day you get to sell a 300-year-old stradivarius. so, off he goes with the countess on a world marketing tour. >> all the cellists that i showed it to were completely shocked about the sound. all of them said it was the best cello they'd ever played. >> i had to wonder. is the sound of a strad really so divine? after all, researchers recently
blindfolded professional musicians and had them play violins, mixing historic strads with top new ones. most said they preferred the sound of modern instruments. so, i asked boston symphony orchestra cellist mihail jojatu to play two cellos for me, one modern and one from the 18th century, and not tell me which was which. can you play each one to see if somebody who doesn't know as much as you do can tell the difference? >> sure. my pleasure. >> you listen, too. what do you think? [ playing mid-tempo classical music ] that was spectacular. so, to me, that sounds as good as it gets. >> let's try this one.
>> i have to say that the sound sounded to me richer, deeper. >> you have a good ear. >> really? i'm shocked. >> yes, this is a good-quality, modern cello. it's a couple years old. and this is mihail's cello. this was made in what year? >> in 1780. >> i had one more request. if i were a student of yours, could you teach me to play one note? >> sure. >> chris, would you let me? >> i suppose, yes. >> you suppose? i sense hesitation. >> no, i trust you. [ cello screeching ] >> am i hurting the value of this cello? >> yes. >> [ laughing ] i'm sorry! i better stop. returning to the tale of the countess of stanlein, it isn't long before sealed bids start coming in. in boston, chris sits down with
the delbancos to open them and pick a buyer. what was the emotion in the room when you open the first bid for elena and nicholas to look at? >> you know, there was not a dry eye in the room because this cello was so much part of their life and signified her relationship to her father. >> saying goodbye to the countess of stanlein were more painful than i expected it to be. we all sat down in a little seating group in his office, and we put the cello as part of the seating group, and i began to feel more and more upset, and we just closed the case. and i've never seen it again. >> in the end, the greenhouse heirs accept a bid they feel they cannot refuse. it comes not from a cello virtuoso but from a foreign billionaire. but that's one last twist to this story when we return on "strange inheritance."
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>> eight months after virtuoso cellist bernard greenhouse dies, his heirs accept a secret bid on their stradivari cello. the price? all the auctioneer will say is that it's significantly higher than the $6.2 million opening bid. what's significantly higher than $6.2 million? >> yeah, the reason i'm not disclosing the price is out of respect to the buyer. >> a fair bid to me is 15% to 20% higher. significantly higher is 50% higher. is it between 15% and 50%? >> good try. [ chuckles ] >> okay, so i tried. and the delbancos are keeping it a secret, too. but in the end were they able to honor greenhouse's wish, that the countess be played and not shut away in a vault or museum?
the buyer, it turns out, is a canadian billionaire, jacqueline desmarais. she decides to permanently loan the countess to a 20-year-old canadian virtuoso named stephane tetreault. i've known about bernard greenhouse for years. he's a huge figure in music history. to have the chance to even touch his cello was just an honor. >> after the auction, the delbancos never intended to see the countess again. welcome. >> thank you. >> welcome. but then, we offered them a chance to meet stephane for the first time, at the carriage house recital hall near boston. [ playing mid-tempo classical music ] help but
think that if stephane performs as long as greenhouse did, the countess of stanlein will be heard for many decades to come. >> that was lovely. >> bravo. >> so good to hear you play. >> what a pleasure to meet both of you. >> and you. >> really. >> really. that was very beautiful. >> i was quite nervous, actually. >> what a great pleasure. >> pleasure. >> let me just... oh, there she is. >> so, in this tale of music and money, the delbancos seem satisfied that they have found a way to split the difference. more money might have made a difference in your life. how do you walk away from that? >> there's never enough if you
think in those terms. an extra million or six would hardly have mattered. >> i think it was a very special strad, and i think we're really happy with the outcome. >> before we go, i want to share this last thought. you know, years ago, back in the old days, bernard greenhouse and the trio could count on a break from the airlines when they had to fly the cello, allowing bernard to buy a child's ticket at half-price. well, once at the airport, a ticket agent called mr. greenhouse over after seeing the name "cello" on the ticket and said, "mr. greenhouse, how old is your son, cello?" to which bernard laughed, winked, and responded, "250 years old." i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for joining us on "strange inheritance." and don't forget. you can't take it with you. do you have a "strange inheritance" story you'd like to share with us?
we'd love to hear it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. >> majestic trees thousands of years old... >> these are the biggest trees i've ever seen, and they're beautiful. >> the redwood forest has been on the planet since the dinosaurs. >> then the ax men cometh. one makes a redwood his ultimate log cabin... >> what? >> ...a log-rolling attraction. it's her strange inheritance. >> i was the only child, so i knew i was always gonna get the log. >> but the road takes its toll. >> it's hard to be the log lady and have a life and be the truck driver and the repair person and do it all. >> she's got a big decision to make. >> she sure does, jamie. she sure does. >> and what happens when it's time for the log to be inherited from you? [ suspenseful music plays ]
[ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] [ mid-tempo music plays ] >> i'm jamie colby, and today i'm heading to the annual blueberry festival in plymouth, indiana. it's not exactly the kind of place you'd expect to see a massive california redwood, but this tree rocks because it rolls. >> my name is jamie allen, and, in 1985, when i was 23, my father passed away, and he left me something that his father left him, and it's kept me on the road all my life. >> jamie? >> jamie? >> [ chuckles ] how are you? it's really great to meet you. and how funny we have the same name. let's get started, then. >> all right, here we go. >> this is one serious tree trunk. [ mid-tempo folk music plays ] and the "root" of the story, according to jamie, is in the
late 1930s... when her grandfather, james allen, is a lumberjack in northern california. james, a widower with a son in the army, sees redwood trees so massive that several men can easily fit inside the hollowed trunks. one day, during a sudden rain squall, he seeks shelter in the trunk of a giant redwood. that's when it occurs to james that he could actually make a home out of one. >> it was the tail end of the depression. he couldn't afford to buy a regular house. my grandma had already passed away. >> so james allen combs the forest for a suitable tree. he finally discovers the perfect one on the property of the georgia-pacific lumber company, near eureka, california. >> he traded the lumber company for that section of log for work. and then it took him four months to burrow out all the wood and a year and a half to complete the
house. it was all done by hand. >> today, most of those lumber mills are gone. what was once called the "redwood empire" is now a state park. >> welcome to humboldt redwoods state park. >> oh, my gosh. these trees are so beautiful. >> and they're the tallest trees on the planet. let's go. >> emily burns, a tree scientist with the save the redwoods league, says there is a reason this part of the country grows such towering trees. >> the fog rolls in to the coast redwood forest from the pacific ocean, and these trees collect it, and they take in that water directly into their leaves, and they also rain it down to the forest floor, helping all the other plants and animals. come check out this tree over here. what you're looking at is a history of fire, really. this burned-out cave is called a "goose pen." >> oh, my gosh. go inside? >> go inside, yeah. >> and it could survive this? >> actually, this tree is fine. it's still growing well. and it's created an amazing
habitat for species like bats. do you like bats? >> not really. are they in here? >> they might be. they might be right up above you. >> oh, well, it was nice to see it. >> [ laughs ] [ soft music plays ] >> chopping down a tree so old is hard to fathom now, but, beginning with the 1849 gold rush, these behemoths supply a lot of lumber needed to settle northern california. >> as the miners were looking for gold, the redwoods started to be cut down to build cities like san francisco. >> even into the 1930s and '40s, redwood trees were still cut down by hand axes and whipsaws. it could take days for a 2-man team to fell a 12-foot-diameter tree. a log could easily weigh 50 tons. >> we've lost 95% of ancient forests like this one to harvest. this is one forest you won't find any other place on the planet. >> so, if this is it and i am
here, can i hug a tree? >> i hope you will. the tree is ready. >> you're calling out to me. give me a squeeze! ah! it's not hard to grasp why americans love their redwoods -- a must-stop on many a family car trip since before the interstate. maybe even you have gassed up at this filling station built entirely out of three redwood tree trunks or driven through this famous arch. used to cost a quarter. today, it's five bucks. but remember, back in 1939, jamie's grandfather isn't looking to create a roadside attraction. he simply wanted a place to hang his hat. [ mid-tempo march plays ] that tree he picked out was 1,900 years old. think about that. when it was just a seed, the roman empire was at its height. as it grew, rome fell... islam rose...
columbus sailed... the colonies rebelled... napoleon won -- and lost... and the wright brothers flew. >> he built the log and lived in it for seven years. >> right there in the forest -- until word gets out of the old fella living in a log. >> people would come and knock on the door and say, "what's in there?" so he used to take the log to schools. >> just load it on a trailer. presto -- a mobile home. in the late 1950s, james sr. passes away, leaving his only son, world war ii vet and traveling salesman james elwin allen, his unusual home. so the son of a lumberjack decides to take it cross-country, maybe make a buck while sharing his strange inheritance with the world. he sets off for parts unknown. his travels eventually lead him to canada and a rodeo show
called the calgary stampede. there he meets 18-year-old iris keiver. they're both smitten and soon get married. what do you think your mother thought about her husband driving around the country with a log house? >> i think it must've been very intriguing because my mother married my father, and that was a very unusual lifestyle. >> when baby jamie is born in 1961, james allen jr. packs up his young wife and daughter and heads right back out on the circuit, traveling the u.s. to fairs, carnivals, and exhibitions. >> i grew up in a family atmosphere of traveling people, and we just happened to have a log. >> step right up, put a nickel in the donation box, and see james allen's incredible cabin made from a genuine california redwood. your dad was able to support the family off of change donations? >> we had the log, a fudge
business, and he sold a lot of different types of products. >> so he was really a pro at this traveling business. >> he had his hands in so many pies it wasn't even funny. >> and it's not every day you get to walk through a tree. now that i heard your story, i've got to go inside. >> please go right in and see how beautiful it really is. >> that's next. what? >> but first -- our "strange inheritance" quiz question... the answer when we return. ♪ i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪
>> so, what is america's most visited national park? it's "a," the great smoky mountains in tennessee -- gets about 10 million visitors a year. >> it's not often you get the chance to walk through a 1,900-year-old redwood tree. i'll be out of the other side, i assume. >> i'll meet you at the other end. [ upbeat music plays ] >> welcome inside jamie allen's strange inheritance. what? [ chuckling ] oh, my god. look at this kitchen! the kitchen boasts a vintage hotplate and a sanitary brand refrigerator from the 1940s.
i did not expect this -- full kitchen, original kitchen, all-wood cabinets? in fact, every built-in facet of the log's interior is made entirely of redwood, hand-sanded, varnished, and polished to a glossy finish. to keep it that way, jamie tells me she polishes the entire interior from floor to ceiling every night. huh. look at that. that's how it was made. the pictures hanging in this gallery are jamie's only remaining photos of her grandpa. they chronicle his amazing endeavor -- the cutting of a tree 1,900 years old, the stump cut 14 feet in diameter. amazing. i'm imagining the four months it took for her grandpa to hollow out this log and then 18 months to painstakingly hand-build this redwood interior -- just tall enough to accommodate his 6-foot
frame and everything else he needed. it's a whole home -- couch, living room, dining room. bedroom? unbelievable. oh. this is beautiful! wow, jamie. it's like an elegant home inside. >> it's beautiful, isn't it? [ upbeat music plays ] >> and it's been home to jamie allen her whole life. >> i can't ever remember not living with a log. when i was a baby, my mother put me in a cardboard box because they didn't have a big crib to take with them. you can't carry a big crib in a log. [ country western music plays ] >> but when jamie turns five, her parents divorce. five years old? >> they just couldn't live together, you know? in the wintertime, my dad would come to town where i was going to school. he would come and stay at the apartment we lived in. >> and every summer, she joins
her father on the road. >> my dad always had me in the log. he'd give me 15 minutes at lunch, a half an hour at dinner, and 15 minutes at around 9:00. my father always knew where i was when i was a teenager. >> and it sounds like you loved it and you loved him. >> oh, a lot. >> when jamie turns 16, she goes full time on the fair-and-festival circuit, traveling with her dad. it's big-time bonding for father and daughter, but does he really want this life for his girl? coming up... >> i looked at my father like, "what, are you out of your mind?" >> but first... >> here's another quiz question for you... the answer when we return.
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so, what city lays claim to the oldest state fair? it's "a." the new york state fair began in syracuse in 1841 and remains one of the largest in the u.s. >> happy blueberry festival to you. i'm at the indiana blueberry festival with jamie allen and her strange inheritance -- a cabin her grandfather carved out of a 1,900-year-old redwood. how many people do you think you meet a year as a result of traveling with a log? >> millions. [ chuckles ] literally, millions of people. >> she's been at it since she was a kid. for years, she crisscrossed the country with her dad. what's here? >> this is my friend mike mcneil, and he was a good friend of my father's, as well, so i thought he was somebody you might like to meet. >> oh, you mean you didn't just bring me over here to have something with sprinkles? >> [ laughs ] >> mike mcneil has run a
traveling concession stand like this one for 40 years. he and jamie's father crossed paths many times. >> jamie's dad was a good businessman, and he had a good heart, too, which is what you want people to say about you. >> okay... what i want is to see if mike's cheesecake is any good. >> wait a minute. >> ooh! they have everything inside. >> there you go. >> uh-huh. is this new york cheesecake? >> no, it's better. this is philadelphia. >> nothing is better -- oh, philadelphia? >> you haven't tried this. >> okay, so, what's the first step? >> dip it in the chocolate and pull it out. >> nice! >> pull it way up. >> okay, i would like sprinkles. >> sprinkles? right there. >> may i? >> go ahead. please do. >> i think i have to. >> you're gonna like that. >> mmm. >> there you go. >> give me a minute. give me a minute. wow! >> i told you that you would like that. [ laughs ]
>> the thing is, cheesecake on a stick is heavenly -- on that one weekend a year the fair comes to town... not so much when every weekend's the fair and every weekday's spent creeping down the highway to the next venue. but this was the life of james allen and the life he saw his daughter backing in to. >> i was the only child, so i knew i was always gonna get the log. >> all parents hope their kids have options, and, in 1978, when jamie is 17 years old, a stranger stops by the cabin and offers one. >> my dad approached me, and he said, "a man's very interested in buying the log. would you be interested in selling?" >> but i looked at my father like, "what, are you out of your mind? no, i don't want the money. i want the log." >> was not continuing what he did with the log ever an option for you? >> oh, no. when i was little and they asked me, "what are you gonna be when you grow up?" i'd say, "just like my dad." [ folk music plays ]
>> seven years later, in 1985, her dad dies of cancer. jamie, only 23, receives her strange inheritance, and, for the next 30 years, she's indeed just like her dad. any regrets that your dad didn't take that offer? >> no, it's a labor of love for me. >> you have any children? >> nope, just three dogs and a cat. >> and a boyfriend, buddy, who travels with her on the circuit. how much time do you spend with this log of yours? >> oh, i spend a lot of time with my log -- 14, 16 hours a day when we're showing, probably 4 to 6 months a year. >> and you make a living doing this? >> i try. it's not as lucrative as it used to be. it's taking its toll on me and the log. the roads are rough on it. we only get to go 56 miles an hour because you can't move it very quickly. i get four miles to the gallon.
bungees, buddy. >> are you losing money on this proposition? >> i think i'm breaking even. you know, i'm just floating along. >> how much money did you make off this venture last year? >> i think we took in maybe about $20,000. >> do you think about what will happen when you can't drive a rig anymore? >> well, the show's got to go on. we don't have a choice. >> or does she? [ upbeat music plays ] she's got a big decision to make. >> she sure does, jamie. >> that's next. what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com.
what was once a home for her lumberjack grandpa is now a traveling tourist attraction -- her strange inheritance. do people look at you on the road like, "wait -- what"? "that lady's driving a tree." >> you can see the passenger tell the driver, "look, there's a girl driving that thing." >> her policy of admission by donation, plus the revenue from souvenirs, once provided a decent living, but it's tougher with each passing year. >> it's hard to be the log lady and have a life and be the bookkeeper and the truck driver and the repair person and do it all. >> those worries are building in the fall of 2014, when jamie is exhibiting the log house at the pittsburgh home & garden show. a few exhibits away is an antiques appraiser named lori verderame. jamie invites her to check out her cabin. what was your first impression when you saw this log cabin? >> oh, i thought it was very unusual. i didn't realize that it was a
house inside until i went inside. >> the women begin brainstorming. is there anything jamie can do to make her business more lucrative, her future more secure? is her strange inheritance a "sell" or a "hold"? so we invited dr. lori to join us here at the blueberry festival to hear her advice. >> i have to look at it and evaluate it as a public attraction for its history. i have to look at it as a redwood log, a piece of a natural historical object. >> who buys a log? >> the people who say, "i'm a museum, i'm a conservation park, and i want to use it as an attraction to bring more awareness of my business." so the log really can stir an awful lot of interest. the other thing which impacts its value -- the log also generates money. >> well, jamie's told me she's just about breaking even. she's getting four miles to the
gallon. >> well, she's moving it. that doesn't mean that, if it were staying still, that she couldn't generate more money. >> it's a lot to take in. i don't really want the log to just stay in one place. >> did you choose this life on the road, or did it choose you? >> i think that it's a little bit of both. >> you're doing this since you're 23 years old. do you start to think, "maybe i ought to sell"? >> a lot of people ask me do i want to sell, and i tell them, "well, you never sell your family tree." [ upbeat music plays ] >> a family tree for sure. at the end of the great depression, an old lumberjack fells the 1,900-year-old redwood and makes a cabin from a section of the trunk. it starts out as his home, turns into a roadside attraction, and becomes a living for his son and then his granddaughter. and what happens when it's time for the log to be inherited from you? you don't have children.
>> no, but i have several godchildren that are very interested in the log. so we'll see who shows the most potential of making sure that it keeps traveling. >> words of a woman who knows she's approaching a crossroads but is not there yet. >> i've been doing what i've been doing for a long time, and i want my log to keep doing what it's doing. >> so your life's gonna be on the road for awhile. >> well, i'm pretty sure it probably will be. >> it's what you do. >> it's who i am. >> no doubt jamie allen's redwood cabin is a strange inheritance from a different era. consider this. the tree now believed to be the tallest in the world was discovered in this state park in 2006. far from turning it into an attraction, officials have kept its location secret. why? because if its location were known, they say, so many people would race off to see it that the tree's life would be in danger.
i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance." thanks so much for watching, and remember, you can't take it with you. ♪ >> a farmer with an unusual hobby hands down a humongous collection to his family. >> anybody that collects 150 tractors -- doesn't that make you eccentric? ♪ >> he spent a lifetime, and a pretty penny, amassing it. >> definitely a method to grandpa's madness. >> is it a treasure trove of valuable americana? >> it was almost out of control maybe you would say. >> or a herd of white elephants? >> dad, are you ever gonna stop? you know, for one thing, you're running out of room. where are you going to put them all? [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪ >> i'm jamie colby, and i'm just pulling intoe