The Fields-Penn 1860 House Museum concluded its third annual “O Christmas Tree” event on Tuesday, January 6. Ten local organizations decorated trees for the enjoyment of the public. From the beginning on November 29 until the close of the event on January 6, nearly 500 people came to see the display. Many of the visitors brought canned goods to vote for their favorite tree. Over 1,600 items were donated, with food donations benefitting Ecumenical Faith in Action’s Stone Soup Food Pantry. Coordinator for Abingdon’s Historic Properties stated, “We were thrilled to realize our food donations doubled this year for EFIA. We appreciate the community’s generosity.” Pet food items donated assist the Animal Defense League of Washington County.
The winning tree for the 2014 event was Sinking Springs Presbyterian Church’s tree in the children’s room, followed by the Town of Abingdon’s “peacock tree” for the United Way of Southwest Virginia’s, and the Arts Depot tree. Other participants in the 2014 event included: the Animal Defense League of Washington County, the Black’s Fort Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Fields-Penn House, Heartwood, Holston Mountain Artisans, and the William King Museum. This year’s event also featured a Civil War tree, commemorating the sesquicentennial of the “War between Brothers” with ornaments made by fourth-grade students at Rhea Valley Elementary School.