U.S. Capitol tree on journey from Lincoln Co.

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MISSOULA, Mont. - The nation will be enjoying a Christmas tree from the Kootenai National Forest.

Fifth-generation Montanan, Pete Tallmadge of Troy got the honor of cutting it down.

The Yaak community held a celebration with the Yaak School Singers and many dignitaries, including Senator Jon Tester as the tree came down.

Driver Larry Spiekermeier of Plains will driver the 79 foot spruce to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Officers will be escorting the truck the whole way.

Senator Tester has chosen 11-year-old Ridley Brandmayr of Bozeman to light the tree in Washington, D.C. December 6th.

Rocky Mountain Ballet Theater from Missoula will perform during the lighting ceremony.

The entire tradition of the U.S. Capitol lighting a Christmas tree came about because of Lincoln County. (http://www.capitolchristmastree.com/news)

In 1958, Lincoln County gave the Capitol the gift of a Christmas tree. Local loggers cut one down at the base of Turner Mountain on Pipe Creek and sent it across the nation.

Historians say it was the next year that the capitol Christmas tree became a beloved tradition.

Now, 59 years later, Lincoln County is giving the gift of Christmas joy again.

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