Feather Tree

There is much excitement in our museum these days as the annual Christmas tree exhibit is being prepared.  One tree that has been displayed here for several year is our feather tree.

Feather Tree

It will be decorated soon and will feature several ornaments from way back when they may have been used when these feather trees were popular.

Feather trees were an early effort to make a Christmas tree that was not real.  They got their start in Germany in the late 19th century.  There was already a concern there about how so many real trees were being harvested as Christmas trees.  Immigrants to America brought this concept to our country.  Stories exist around Perry County about how feather trees began to be used in homes around here in the early 1900’s.  We are thrilled that we actually have one of these original trees.

A feather tree gets its name from the fact that they were often made by dyeing goose feathers green and attaching them to a wooden dowel or wire to make the branches.  The branches were intentionally placed far enough apart so that candles could be put on them and the flames would not put other branches on fire.


The Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum will be opening its Luther’s Indoor Walk in the Woods Christmas exhibit next week on November 15th.  It will be on display until January 15th.  There will about 50 themed Christmas trees on display.  The museum becomes magical during the Christmas season.  As usual, we are open every day from 10 am till 4 pm, and admission is free.

We would love to hear from you about old Christmas traditions that may have been part of your family’s history.


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