By Bonnie Davidson
The Courier 

Glasgow's Christmas Tree Returns

After 20 years, A Tree Again Towers Over Downtown Corner


Bonnie Davidson / The Courier

NorthWestern Energy apprentice Sean Linghor helps place the community Christmas tree on Monday, Nov. 17 in downtown Glasgow.

It's been roughly over two decades since Glasgow lost its Christmas tree located downtown.

The tree used to sit in the middle of the street on 2nd Ave. S and 4th St. S. A manhole was uncovered and a pot the city created to place the tree in helped hold the tree in place. The tree brought some of that holiday cheer and Christmas spirit to shoppers, pedestrians and workers as they traveled through the downtown area.

"It was just a tree stuck in a hole every year," Dan Carney, previous mayor of Glasgow, said. "It just seems like it was there forever."

He explained that years ago an accident caused when two vehicles made their way around the tree and collided caused the city to look at the problems created by the tree's position and the liability issues.

A few calls came into the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, and Executive Director Lisa Olk said that the discussions started to bring a tree back. While they couldn't place the tree where it had been before, a few calls were made to find a good location downtown. Olk explained that she called Markle's, which owns a lot across from the hardware store downtown, and they gave permission to dig a large hole in the ground to hold a tree.

Markle's said that as long as they owned the lot, the site would be available for the tree to come back. Olk then contacted the city and worked with Public Works Director Robert Kompel to place a hole that would be permanent to house the tree. The hole will be covered after its use, but remain in place for the next year. The city dug the hole and helped prep the site for the tree.

Several residents stopped to watch as a large tree was placed at the location on the corner of 4th St. S. and 2nd Ave. S. The tree got help getting there from the local Boy Scout Troop #861 and Adventure Crew. Mike Carney was contacted by Olk to obtain the tree. He oversees the Scouts selling trees each year at Shopko.

"This troop has been selling trees since the 50s or 60s," Mike Carney said. "Since the base days."

While they looked at bringing in an expensive tree from their supplier, they found a local family willing to cut down a tree from their yard. Les and Patti Scanlan, of Fort Peck, supplied the tree that now sits in Glasgow. Patti Scanlan explained that they have a few more trees to supply in future years. The Scanlan's currently have children that participate in the Scouts, which is how they were involved in the process.

Leta Godwin, who also participates with the Scouts, explained that it was a cooperative effort to bring the tree back this year. She said that the tree was something she missed downtown. She explained that the tree took some coordination but it was moved Sunday to the location with the help of Mike Carney.

"It's kind of a cool thing getting it (the tree) back down there," Godwin said.

Olk said that NorthWest Energy helped place the tree with its equipment and will provide the electricity and place the lights on the tree as well. The lights will all be placed on the tree just in time to light up for the Stroll in Downtown event on Saturday. It will light up around the time the Parade of Lights makes its way through downtown.

Olk said that due to Thanksgiving being so late in the month this year, the lights on the tree will be then shut off until Black Friday (Friday, Nov. 28). This year will be a sort of trial on how the tree size, placement and other details will work. The collaborative effort will bring back a tradition lost for many years in Glasgow.

Troop #861 will begin selling their Christmas trees at Shopko on Black Friday at 10 a.m. as part of its annual fundraiser.

Bonnie Davidson / For The Courier

A crew from NorthWestern Energy puts Glasgow's Christmas tree in place Monday at the corner lot at 2nd Avenue South and 4th Street South.


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