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The Story of David's Tree

Local Photographer Mary Beth (emmbee photography) Westward Took This Photograph of David's Tree, David's Favorite


As Shared By David Cleveland Written by Marcy Vierzen

First Shared in an Email Blast From Artisan's
November 27, 2020


It was around 1987, in between the time David Cleveland was living out in Colorado and his move back to New Hampshire. Contemplating the magic of Christmas in New Hampshire, David returned to New London in mid December, and offered that it might be fun to put a Christmas tree up in the field.


His father, James C. Cleveland, who had served as a Congressman in Washington for twenty years; was, according to David, a well known spendthrift, and could be curmudgeonly even by New England standards. 

The senior Cleveland scoffed at the tree-in-the-field idea… “What do YOU MEAN YOU ARE GOING TO PUT A TREE UP IN THE FIELD?” 


It clearly sounded like the most ridiculous idea he had ever heard. Then, “Where do plan to get the tree?” 

The Clevelands had a great deal of land, with plenty of trees to select from, so the answer was obvious to David. His father went on… “Do NOT take one of the good trees in the woods…” David smirked, because with more than 500 acres to choose a tree from, surely one tree would not deplete the “good tree” population. 


David headed out to walk their land and find the perfect tree; after cutting one down and bringing it up to the top of the field, his next quest was to find an extension cord… a very LONG extension cord.

Once again his father scoffed. “You are NOT going to use one of my extension cords.” David responded that he would purchase one at Clarke’s Hardware. His father exclaimed… “You are going to Clarke’s to get an extension cord?!”


This back and forth persisted throughout the day, as David worked to get the tree up in the field and lit, and his father, who hovered close by during all of this, continued to be negative about every aspect of this venture. Finally, the tree was lit, and

it looked beautiful, David thought. His father’s response… “Yeah, I guess… it looks okay.”


That night, the phone rang in the Cleveland house and James C. Cleveland answered it. David overheard his father’s response to whoever was on the other end of the line… “Hello… yes… Oh, thank you…. Well we feel it is a gift to the community.” It seemed, according to David, that his father was all of the sudden very much on board with this entire tree-in-the-fled idea. Not

another negative thought or word was expressed about the tree during that holiday and winter season.

Fast forward to the following December… when David received a phone call of a different nature from his dad. “David, get the hell back here and put that tree up… everyone is talking about the tree in the field!”


And that, my friends, is the story of “David’s Tree.”

-Marcy Vierzen, Artisans

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A Picture of David's Tree From Our 2014 Kearsarge Shopper Christmas AD

Photo by Erica Walker, Sutton, NH.


We Love To Share Your Stories and Photos, Particularly When It Comes to Our Local Area, So Feel Free To Submit To with subject title MY STORY, and We Will Consider Sharing On Our Website, Social Platforms, Or In An Email Blast!


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A Local Christmas Story

A Local Tradition

Made Possible By David Cleveland

The Lighted Tree in the Field

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