Christmas Trees Traveling From Northern Michigan to Chicago, A 100 Year Tradition

Christmas trees from Northern Michigan are making their way to Chicago. It’s a tradition that dates back to the early 1900’s.

Before it sank in 1912, the Schooner Rouse Simmons would pick up trees in the U.P. and sail to Chicago, to give them to the less fortunate.

Now, the Chicago Yacht Club buys trees from Dutchman Tree Farm in Manton and donate the trees.

The U.S. Coast Guard loads up the Cutter Mackinaw in Cheboygan and takes the trees to Chicago.

As part of the tradition, the Coast Guard drops a Christmas wreath in Lake Michigan, right where the Rouse Simmons sank many years ago.

“It’s part of the season. We’re always trying to give back, and we raise Christmas trees for our farm… that’s our occupation, but being able to provide them… it’s a good feeling that a lot of families that normally wouldn’t get a Christmas tree, are able to get one,” said Christopher Maciborski, Co-Owner of Dutchman Tree Farm.

Dutchman Tree Farm says around 12,000 trees now travel from Northern Michigan to Chicago every Christmas.