Coast Guard unloads more than 1,200 Christmas trees in Chicago

Carrying on a maritime tradition: Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw acts as Chicago’s ‘Christmas Tree Ship’

For the past 15 years, the annual re-enactment of the original Christmas Ship, Rouse Simmons, by Chicago’s maritime community and the Coast Guard has resurrected a storied tradition dating back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. People have come to know the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw as the modern day Christmas Ship, and some await its arrival the same way people did on the banks of the Chicago River more than 100 years ago.