The crew of the Coast Guard Mackinaw partnered up with the Chicago’s Christmas Ship Committee to reenact a Chicago tradition dating back to the late 1800s.

The Mackinaw, serving as the Chicago Christmas Tree Ship, arrived on Dec. 1 with more than 1,200 Christmas trees from northern Michigan purchased by the committee through private donations.

On Dec. 2, the trees were distributed to needy families that were identified by the committee.

The original Christmas Tree Ship, the Rouse Simmons, delivered fresh evergreens and wreaths for the holiday season from Michigan to Chicago for more than 30 years during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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