Denver Showed It Had the Light Stuff a Century Ago, With the First Christmas Tree | Westword

Reporter Pinky Wayne - 1914

Denver Showed It Had the Light Stuff a Century Ago, With the First Christmas Tree | Westword.

On Christmas Eve 1914, ten-year-old David Jonathan Sturgeon was in bed at his home at 4408 West 34th Avenue in Denver, too sick to go downstairs and join his family around the Christmas tree. David Dwight “D.D.” Sturgeon, a pioneering Denver electrician, decided to cheer up his son, so he dipped lightbulbs in red and green paint, connected them to electrical wire, and hung them in a pine tree outside David’s window, brightening his holiday and inspiring people from miles away to come marvel at the sight of the illuminated tree. Although there had been a few earlier outdoor decorating attempts around the country, they dimmed compared to the glowing reports provided by Denver Post reporter Pinky Wayne, and enthusiastic city boosters of a century ago were soon touting this as the first illuminated outdoor Christmas tree. The next year, Sturgeon neighbors decorated their trees, too, and the tradition lived on. (Sadly, young David did not; he succumbed to a different illness.) …

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