The First Christmas Tree Farm Which Sparked A New Tradition For The County

W.V. McGalliard was a farmer, developer, and entrepreneur from New Jersey and in 1901 he planted the nation’s first Christmas tree farm. According to Hamilton Township historian Jeffery Guear, McGalliard planted a crop of 25,000 Norway spruce trees and 5,000 saplings in the village of White Horse, in Hamilton Township, that he purchased from Mr. Charles Black of Hightstown, New Jersey. It was all due to a rock-filled plot of land that McGalliard had that wouldn’t grow a traditional crop. That plot of land gave him the idea to try a different type of crop. One that has changed the way Americans have celebrated Christmas ever since.

Once the trees grew to a desirable height by 1907 or 1908, McGalliard began to sell his first set of trees for only $1. Making his 10-acre gravel field a soon profitable business, still cherished by thousands of people a year. The U.S. today contains 15,000 Christmas tree farms, with Americans purchasing about 30 million trees each Christmas, most of those raised on a farm.