Cutting of the first tree from Wisconsin to be selected as the National Capitol Christmas Tree will be a festive occasion for residents of Laona and neighboring communities Wednesday, November 28, starting at 1 p.m.
Two days later, on Friday, November 30, also at 1 p.m., Governor Dreyfus will lead a program to be held on Monona Avenue in Madison. The governor will officially designate the tree a gift from the citizens of Wisconsin to the Nation.
The National Capitol Christmas Tree is a tradition first proposed by John McCormick, then Speaker of the House of Representatives. An attempt to plant a tree on Capitol grounds failed when the tree died in 1969. Since then, trees have been provided by National Forests or State Forests in the East.
Placed on the west front lawn of the Capitol grounds, the tree symbolizes wishes for world-wide peace and goodwill from all Americans to the peoples of the Earth. Official lighting ceremonies are held each year. This year’s lighting ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, December 12.
The Nicolet National Forest tree is a 47 year old white spruce growing on the grounds of the Laona Ranger District housing compound. It stands 59 feet tall and has a branch spread of 33 feet.
Webster “Swede” Intermill, now living on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, will be on the program for the cutting ceremony. Intermill was the Laona District Ranger when the tree was transplanted to its present location during the mid-thirties.
Adding the musical touch to the festivities will be the Laona high school band.
Jim Berlin, supervisor of the Nicolet National Forest, will welcome attendees. Participants will include Lloyd Kincaid, Representative of the State’s 36 Assembly District; Erhard Huettl, chairman of the Forest County Board of Supervisors; and Henry Kazmierczak, Town of Laona supervisor.
Students in the area that have participated in an essay contest will be honored during the ceremony by George Brewer of Cavour, president of the Laona Lions Club.
Theodore Roberts of the Roberts Lumber Company in Hiles will be in charge of hauling the tree to the Capitol. The journey will start Friday morning.
Besides the stop in Madison, overnight stops enroute to Washington will be LaPorte, Indiana; Youngstown West, Ohio; and Alexandria, Virginia.
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