Union Pacific employees carry on Omaha holiday tradition
(Source: Union Pacific Railroad press release, November 12, 2012)
OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad employees today cut and transported a 40-foot Colorado Blue Spruce from the home of Donald and Phyllis Norskov in Omaha, Neb., to The Durham Museum.
"This is our 21st year to harvest the tree locally and Union Pacific employees look forward to helping bring this holiday symbol to the former Union Station each year, just like their fellow employees did so many years ago," said Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific Railroad director – Public Affairs for Nebraska and Iowa. "The expressions on the faces of young and old alike when they first walk into the museum great hall and see the decorated tree for the first time are priceless."
Union Pacific began the tradition more than 75 years ago by cutting a Christmas tree from along its right of way in the Pacific Northwest and transporting it to Omaha's Union Station. The tree greeted the thousands of passengers arriving on trains during the holiday season in the heyday of passenger rail service.
After this year's tree is placed in The Durham's massive, art-deco-patterned, terrazzo-floored main great hall by Union Pacific employees, it will be sprayed with a chemical fire retardant prior to being decorated by volunteers as well as employees from Mangelsen's, an Omaha-area craft store.
The fully decorated tree will be ready for the lighting ceremony which begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23.
About the Tree
When Donald and Phyllis Norskov purchased their home in 1990, the tree was only two feet tall. Donald believes the previous owner planted the tree in 1988 or 1989. The Norskovs offered the tree to the museum two years ago, but it wasn't quite large enough. Now, two years later, the 40-foot Colorado Blue Spruce is ready to be a part of the Christmas at Union Station festivities.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012