2010-11-09 / Front Page

A Piece of Putnam in the Big Apple for Christmas

Eric Gross

Peter and Stephanie Acton and their children, Seamus 11 and Fiona, 7, gather for a family portrait in front of their historic tree. The children hold their pet chickens Daisy and Squirt for the photo session.Peter and Stephanie Acton and their children, Seamus 11 and Fiona, 7, gather for a family portrait in front of their historic tree. The children hold their pet chickens Daisy and Squirt for the photo session.Today was another first for Putnam County: A 74-foot tall, 12-ton Norway spruce will be the centerpiece of this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas celebration, thanks to the Acton family of Mahopac Falls.

A crowd estimated at more than 400 crowded along Bullet Hole Road on Veterans Day morning and cheered when crews sliced through the giant trunk of the mammoth tree within 90 seconds.

The tree was lifted by an enormous crane and placed on a flatbed truck for a trip to Manhattan, where it will be decorated with thousands of bulbs and viewed by millions of people around the world.

Peter and Stephanie Acton, owners of the tree, described the day as melancholy.

Stephanie said she was “thrilled that our tree will bring joy to people around the globe but I’m sad that the tree will no longer support our summer hammock.”

Peter, a firefighter in New York City who also serves with the Mahopac Falls FD, called the occasion a “day for Putnam County to smile. This puts us on the map. The tree might belong to the Acton clan but now it has become part of the American Christmas celebration.”

Acton called his tree a “gift for the City of New York and for the world. We are not used to such notoriety. Our claim to fame has been a small house with a big tree in the front yard along Bullet Hole Road.”

The Actons will have the pleasure of flicking a switch November 30 and lighting the tree in Manhattan. Once the holidays are over the tree will become timber for the construction of a small home in the New York Metropolitan area.

 

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