Over the weekend, Steve’s grandpa told me about the first outdoor Christmas tree. I thought about it today while I trimmed my indoor one. Before these lights that are such a hassle, they had candles on the trees. Just when I think modern conveniences aren’t convenient, I realize the alternative is a fire waiting to happen. Read this story; it’s fascinating.
IT was Christmas Eve 1914. On a quiet street in snowy Denver, a young boy lay in his upstairs bedroom, too ill even to be carried downstairs to join family members around the Christmas tree. According to the attending physician, this would be 10-year-old David Jonathan Sturgeon’s last Christmas.
The boy’s grandfather, D.D. Sturgeon, one of Denver’s pioneer electricians, could not bear to see his grandson completely miss out on the holiday festivities. Saddened and desperately wanting to brighten the small lad’s holidays, he took some ordinary light bulbs, dipped them in red and green paint, connected them to electrical wire and proceeded to string the glowing baubles onto the branches of a pine tree outside David’s bedroom window, within easy view of the boy’s appreciative gaze.
News of Sturgeon’s efforts to please his grandson spread throughout the city and, night after night, folks came by horse and carriage to see the wondrous sight of an outdoor lighted Christmas tree. And it’s no surprise that they were so fascinated, considering the fact that David Jonathan Sturgeon’s Christmas tree holds the record for the world’s first outdoor electric lighted Christmas display.
Complete story here
By Doris Kennedy
with special thanks to the Denver Post