The Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a project to make the best use possible of carvings made from timbers salvaged from Whitehall's former Christmas Tree. The carvings, done by George Gierok, have just been built into a new welcome sign for Fredrickson Park. "Velkommen til Whitehall" is a nod to the Scandinavian heritage of men that found the nearly 15' tree in Irvins Coulee, hauled it into town on a sleigh and three teams of horses, and planted it on Main Street next to the bandstand in 1928. The tree served as Whitehall's community Christmas tree until 2016 when it was cut down to accommodate highway and railroad improvements.
The Chamber of Commerce is accepting donations to cover the cost of building the sign which will be a permanent addition to Fredrickson Park and serve as a reminder of the many good memories of the tree that once lit up Main Street every year during the holidays. A replacement for the original Norway Spruce tree has been planted near the new sign and there are plans to add the history of the tree to the back of the sign as well as more improvements to Fredrickson Park as funds become available. Improvements planned include a walking path, benches and picnic tables as well as improving the electrical service for lighting the new community Christmas tree and the sign.
If you would like to contribute to this project donations can be mailed to the City of Whitehall, P O Box 155, Whitehall, WI 54773 or dropped off at Royal Credit Union in Whitehall. Online donations can also be made at the Chamber's GoFundMe account: https://www.gofundme.com/manage/save-our-tree-commemorative-fund. All donations, large or small, will be very appreciated!