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History Lesson – The Story of the Tree for Boston

Do you know why Boston receives a tree every year from Nova Scotia? Well, gather around and let me tell you the story of the Tree for Boston (via Boston Parks & Recreation Department).

Over a hundred years ago, on December 6, 1917, two ships collided in Halifax Harbor, causing a devastating explosion. Boston authorities learned of the disaster by telegraph and quickly organized and dispatched a relief train full of supplies & emergency personnel within a day.

Nova Scotia was so grateful for the kindness and quick response the people of Boston provided that they give the gift a beautiful Christmas tree each year as a thank you.

This year’s tree is a 45-foot white spruce donated by by Heather and Tony Sampson of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This year’s tree is dedicated to health care workers — those now fighting COVID-19 and those who stepped up to assist in a disaster nearly 100 years ago. The tree will arrive on Friday around 11am at the Boston Commons. (Here’s hoping there’s a baby owl in it!)

A pandemic-modified version of the annual tree-lighting show and ceremony will be broadcast by Channel 5 on Dec. 3rd to get you in the spirit!

Image via Parks Department on InstagramGive them a follow!

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.