Fort Stanwix Ornament at White House

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's an honor for our most beloved historic park, Fort Stanwix, in Rome. An ornament, designed and painted by a local artist, has been chosen to adorn the White House Christmas tree. This from the Rome Sentinel Online:

The ornament was painted by Pat Besl of Vienna, a retired art teacher and the vice president of the Rome Art Association. Her design was selected by local fort officials as part of a process that began last summer when the White House invited park service locations to submit the handmade decorations. The ornament that Besl embellished was directly provided by the White House, as a gold-color, plastic-style ball about 6 inches in diameter, said Fort Stanwix Superintendent Debbie Conway.

Conway said the fort initially received a letter from First Lady Laura Bush about the project, which was part of the "Holiday in the National Parks" theme for this year’s White House decorations. The blank ornament then was sent by the chief White House florist, Nancy Clarke, and arrived at the fort by early August, she added.

The ornament is one of a kind, Conway said, based on White House stipulations that it could not be reproduced or offered for sale. The ornament will not be returned to the fort, and will become part of national park archives, she added.

You can view all the ornaments displayed on the White House tree here.

3 remarks
Apple said...

I love the Ft Stanwix ornament and some of the others were also fantastic. (There were also a few that were very disappointing!) It's a shame that they won't let them manufacture and sell these ornaments next year as a way to help support the parks. Sad that so few will see them.

1:02 PM  
threecollie said...

What an interesting concept...and the ornament is quite pretty.

9:14 AM  
Mrs Mecomber said...

It is interesting!

It's ironic, too, because a Christmas tree is a contradiction of American history tradition. In early America, the Christmas tree was frowned upon. It was a pagan German tradition, part of the worship of the tree. The Puritans did not even celebrate Christmas, as it was a Catholic celebration of the pagan winter solstice.

The history of Christmas in America is very interesting. But I can't help thinking-- in my own sardonic way-- that George Washington would have taken that tree and planted it outside with the other trees, where it belonged!

10:02 AM  

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