Mystery of the Michigan Christmas Tree Along I-75
If you're heading up I-75 in Arenac County, you may have passed by this little oddity: a lone pine tree adorned with Christmas decorations. Why is it there?
Travelers have wondered about this for the past few years, wondering if it was some kind of memorial or something along the lines of a Michigan shoe tree...well, it turns out to be both.
Over 20 years ago, on Father's Day weekend, 20-year-old Jason Porter and his uncle were on their way north. Jason was killed in a traffic accident by mile marker 199 and the drunk in the other vehicle died as well. The uncle survived. Jason's mother put a cross at the site but the local road commission took it down. She put up another one but it, too, was removed when the road was re-paved. She asked if she could at least keep the cross but it had been thrown away. One man on the crew felt bad about the whole thing and planted a tree in the same spot for Jason's memory.
The tree barely survived all by itself but it persevered and grew. It looked so lonesome along the road that a local woman took it upon herself to hang a lone Christmas ornament on one of the branches. Soon, motorists and other locals began adding their own ornaments to the tree, most of them not knowing the story.
Today, the little scraggly tree that almost didn't survive – thanks to motor exhaust and being unprotected from the elements – has a good amount of ornaments adorning it year-round.....and looks healthier than ever!
Take a picture and hang your own ornament next time you're in the area!