In a long-standing tradition, the U.S. Coast Guard and volunteers helped load Christmas trees destined for Chicago onto an ice cutter in Cheboygan.
Docked and Loaded
According to Linda Rogers, of the American Rosie the Riveter Association Cheboygan and Emmet Counties Chapter, over 20 volunteers and as many Coast Guard members loaded 1,200 trees onto the ice cutter USCGC Mackinaw under overcast skies on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
The volunteers were students from Wolverine Schools as well as Cheboygan Area Schools. Rosie the Riveter was on site as well. Cookies and hot chocolate were provided by the city’s Coast Guard Committee. The ship is loaded and ready to set sail on Saturday, Nov. 26 for its annual trip to Chicago to deliver the trees.
The Christmas Tree Ship tradition dates back to the Rouse Simmons, a three-masted schooner that sank in a storm on Lake Michigan in 1912 with a cargo of Christmas trees. The Mackinaw is expected to arrive in Chicago on Friday, Dec. 2 with its cargo, which will then be distributed to more than 1,000 families throughout Chicago. Cheboygan’s Coast Guard Committee is working toward having Cheboygan designated as only the third city in the state to achieve the title “Coast Guard City.” This was the first year that volunteers were invited to help load the ship.
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