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Augustus "August" Imgard (1828-1904) was a German immigrant who has been recognized as an early proponent in popularizing the Christmas tree in the United States.[1] He has also been credited with being the first to decorate it with candy canes.[2]


August Imgard emigrated from the Bavarian mountains of Germany to Wooster, Ohio before he was 20 years old and started a tailoring business.[1][3]

In 1847, Imgard cut a blue spruce tree from a woods outside town, had the village tinsmith construct a star, and placed the tree in his house, decorating it with paper ornaments, gilded nuts and Kuchen. It stood on a slowly revolving platform while a music box played and people came from miles around to view it.[1] Imgard died in 1904, is buried in the Wooster Cemetery, and every year, a large pine tree above his grave is lit with Christmas lights.[3]

Although no longer credited as the first to introduce the Christmas tree to America, Imgard is still recognized as an early proponent. The National Confectioners Association also recognizes Imgard as the first to put candy canes on a Christmas tree; the canes were white, with no red stripes.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "They're Still Cheering Man Who Gave America Christmas Tree". Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune. 24 December 1938. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  2. ^ R. O. Parker (19 October 2001). Introduction to Food Science. Delmar. Retrieved 17 December 2011. In 1670, the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral gave sugar sticks to his young singers to keep them quiet during the long Living Crèche ceremony. In honor of the occasion, he had the candies bent into the shepherds crooks. In 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant named August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decorated a small pine tree with paper ornaments and candy canes.
  3. ^ a b ""Augustus "August" Imgard"". 23 December 2008. Retrieved 25 December 2016.

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