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Henry Schwan: Cleveland's Christmas Tree Connection

By December 9, 2013

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Did you know that the first decorated Christmas tree was erected in Cleveland, in front of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church on Prospect and E. 30th St.? The church's German-born pastor, Dr. Henry Schwan, chose to adorn the parish with a traditional German tree and decorated it with nuts, berries, fruit and ribbon.

The year was 1851 and the congregation was aghast. The tree came down quickly, but a tradition was born and the tree was erected again the next year. Today, Clevelanders celebrate Dr. Schwan's contribution to Christmas each year at his gravesite in Lake View Cemetery by decorating a small tree on the site.

For More on Christmas in Cleveland:(photo © istockphoto; licensed to About, Inc.)


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