Little U.S. County Is Known as the `Christmas Tree Capital of the World`

Christmas music is playing in the stores, decorations are being put up everywhere, and everyone is beginning to consider putting up their own trees. It’s that season, that’s all! You’ll love learning about the “Christmas Tree Capital of the World” if you enjoy decorating your home for the holiday season with a colorful tree.

Pennsylvania’s Indiana County is referred to as the “Christmas Tree Capital of the World.” The Indiana County Christmas Tree Growers’ Association states that the county’s workers felled over 700,000 trees in 1956, earning it the title for the first time.

The title is prominently displayed on the homepage of the county website as well. However, how did this tiny city initially come to be known so widely? Let’s explore and discover more about the world’s Christmas tree capital.

Where Is Indiana County?

Indiana County is located in Pennsylvania’s west central region. It shares borders with the counties of Armstrong, Westmoreland, Jefferson, Clearfield, and Cambria. Pittsburgh is the largest city closest to Indiana County, approximately 1.5 hours away by car. Indiana County is regarded as a micropolitan statistical region to the city on the census because of its close proximity to Pittsburgh.

How Did Indiana County Become The Christmas Tree Capital Of The World?

Growing Christmas trees is a long-standing practice and part of the local culture in Indiana County. Although Christmas trees now line the entire town, a number of individuals, including Murray C. Stewart, Sam Dible, Silas Streams, Fred Musser, Walter Schroth, and a few others, are credited with planting the first trees.

The Christmas tree industry took off after the first few trees were planted. When enough farmers united in 1944, a formal association was formed. Murray C. Stewart of Indiana County was the inaugural president of the newly established “Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association,” which was established very rapidly.

As the organization expanded and Christmas trees gained popularity, farmers came up with a novel idea: shearing. In the county, or anywhere in the nation, not a single tree was sheared until 1944. However, a county agent demonstrated tree shearing a year later. Shearing would become more common in the next years, and protests would appear all over the state. Almost all Christmas trees that are sold these days are sheared just once a year.

What Is There To Do In Indiana County?

Indiana County, Pennsylvania, is home to much more than just Christmas trees. Beautiful county and state parks can be found in the vicinity. Jimmy Stewart, a well-known actor and former military officer, resides there as well. Since the star of It’s a Wonderful Life was a resident of the state, Indiana is home to the well-known Jimmy Stewart Museum.

Buttermilk Falls is one of Indiana County’s distinctive locations. The enormous 45-foot waterfall is the ideal location for treks and picnics. It’s breathtaking almost all year round, but autumn is the most fun time of year to visit when the forest’s leaves are changing.

The Blairsville Underground Railroad History Center is a must-see when you’re in the neighborhood. It discusses Indiana County’s history locally and its involvement in the Underground Railroad. This is a wonderfully amazing and interesting museum that is well worth the visit.

In case you feel like you’ve seen everything in the county, keep in mind that festivals and events are hosted all year long. Indiana County offers a plethora of activities, ranging from the “It’s a Wonderful Life” celebration to the Big Balloon Build Meet & Greet.

What Animals Live Around The Christmas Tree Capital Of The World?

Yellow Creek State Park, a 2,981-acre area with 5 kilometers of hiking trails, is located in the county. For those looking to shoot waterfowl, wild turkey, pheasant, black bear, and white-tailed deer, the park is a popular destination. Popular locations in the park include the lake and the creeks. Yellow Creek Lake is a popular fishing spot for pike, bass, crappie, muskellunge, and perch. There are trout supplied in Yellow Creek, Little Yellow Creek, and Laurel Run.

It’s important to remember that Yellow Creek Lake allows boats with a maximum horsepower of 20. You can rent a craft close to the beach if yours doesn’t meet those requirements. Kayaks, canoes, sailboats, and paddleboats can all be rented.