Story City Christmas Tree: A Century Long Tradition

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Story City's first lighted tree was erected in 1914. (Photo courtesy: Greater Story City Chamber Connection)

Story City’s first lighted tree was erected in 1914. (Photo courtesy: Al Holm via Story City Chamber Connection)

STORY CITY, Iowa- Story City is marking 100 years this Christmas having a lighted Christmas tree in downtown. It was in 1914, Story City first erected a lighted Christmas tree in the middle of Broad and Pennsylvania Streets.  One hundred years ago electricity was new, and not common, so it was unusual to have an electrically lit tree, according to the  Museums of Story City website.

“The first municipal tree in 1914 drew many visitors to Story City from miles around for the purpose of viewing it,” according to the Museums website.  “Peter Eide, who was visiting Story City, was quoted in the Dec. 31, 1914 Herald saying ‘Story City’s municipal Christmas tree was the biggest stunt the town ever pulled off,” according to the Museum site.

The town came together for the big 100th Tree Lighting on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

“We had 250 folks show up from the community downtown,” said John Hall, who is Director of the Story City Chamber Connection. “We did a little caroling beforehand, then lit the tree.”

This weekend the Barlett House Museum will feature a mini-exhibit on the 100th anniversary of the Christmas tree.  There will also be a tour of homes, and a scavenger hunt Dec. 6 and Dec 7th.

You can find more information about the 100th Christmas Tree and the weekend events here.



1 Comment

  • Marge

    Just don’t let a new business like a truck stop come to this town! It would ruin the town! But please come and see our pretty Christmas tree! That’s ok.

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