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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fresno in Fresno County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Christmas Tree Lane

 
 
Christmas Tree Lane Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, February 24, 2017
1. Christmas Tree Lane Marker
Inscription. In June of 1919, William "Billy" Winning, age 14 died in a tragic accident at his family home on Van Ness Boulevard. In December of 1920, Billy's mother, Mae, decorated the deodur cedar in front of the home as a memorial to Billy, who had loved Christmas. This was done at a time when few private homeowners could afford to decorate with electric lights.

In the following years other neighbors also began to decorate trees in front of their homes and by the mid-1920's seventeen homes on Van Ness were decorated. By 1931 the practice had grown to such proportions that the displays on Van Ness earned it the nickname "Christmas Tree Lane". The practice of decorating continued to grow throughout the years only being interrupted in the weeks after the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor because of security concerns, and again during the 1973 oil crises that followed the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East.

Today, Christmas Tree Lane is managed by the Fig Garden Homeowners Association which coordinates law enforcement agencies, civic groups and private individuals for the celebration of lights. It attracts over 100,000 visitors each year and is supported by donations from the community. It is nationally renowned as one of the first and most impressive such displays in the country, drawing visitors from the bay area and
Christmas Tree Lane Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, February 24, 2017
2. Christmas Tree Lane Marker
Southern California.
 
Erected 2016 by Maj. James D. Savage Chaper 1852 E Clampus VItus and Fig Garden Homeowners Association.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 36° 48.467′ N, 119° 48.437′ W. Marker is in Fresno, California, in Fresno County. Marker is on North Van Ness Boulevard mile east of Palm Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located on the right a quarter of a mile from the end of Christmas Tree Lane on North Van Ness Boulevard. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4962 North Van Ness Boulevard, Fresno CA 93704, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sierra Sky Park (approx. 4.1 miles away); Forestiere Underground Gardens (approx. 4.1 miles away); Fresno Memorial Auditorium (approx. 4.9 miles away); Fresno Corridor of Flags Veterans Memorial (approx. 4.9 miles away); George M. Bowman (approx. 4.9 miles away); Site of Church-Sperry Mill and Mill Ditch (approx. 4.9 miles away); The Fresno Water Tower (approx. 4.9 miles away); Viva Liberation (approx. 5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fresno.
 
More about this marker. The brick
Billy Winning image. Click for full size.
By The Fresno Republican (now Fresno Bee), circa 1919
3. Billy Winning
framework for the marker was made from bricks collected all over the city of Fresno including bricks from historic buildings taken down in downtown Fresno.
 
Also see . . .  Christmas Tree Lane. (Submitted on March 10, 2017, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.)
 
Categories. Notable Events
 
Christmas Tree Lane Santa image. Click for full size.
By Vickie Durand, December 3, 2016
4. Christmas Tree Lane Santa
Picture with one of the displays on Christmas Tree Lane
Marker Dedication day on Christmas Tree Lane image. Click for full size.
By Vickie Durand, December 3, 2016
5. Marker Dedication day on Christmas Tree Lane
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 10, 2017, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. This page has been viewed 178 times since then. Last updated on March 22, 2017, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 10, 2017, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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