W. V. McGalliard sowed the seeds of a cherished American tradition.
A farmer, developer and entrepreneur from New Jersey, he planted the nation’s first Christmas tree farm in the village of White Horse, in Hamilton Township, in 1901.
McGalliard had hoped to turn some rock-filled land on his property into profit.
This real-life Father Christmas Tree instead changed the way a nation celebrates a cherished holiday.
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“He took a pretty big gamble, yet he showed people you could successfully grow trees on lands where you couldn’t grow traditional crops,” National Christmas Tree Association spokesperson Jill Sidebottom told Fox News Digital.
He seeded his pioneering evergreen plantation with 25,000 Norway spruce trees and 5,000 saplings that he purchased from a Mr. Charles Black of Hightstown, New Jersey, according to information provided by Hamilton Township historian Jeffrey Guear.
McGalliard began selling his trees for $1 each when the first were ready, around 1907 or 1908.
“The farm had a 10-acre gravelly field on which it had become impossible to grow a profitable farm crop,” authors Ann Kirk Davis and Henry…