Bothell star on Main Street once again dressed up for Christmas

There’s an old hometown superstar in Bothell, one that has been seen in the pages of the Seattle Times and in international headlines. It has been silently keeping a watchful eye on generations of locals. Now, many are a seeing it in all new lights.

Linda Dorsey and Nancy Pipinich showcase a week’s worth of research and newspaper clippings on the Bothell Christmas tree

Linda Dorsey and Nancy Pipinich showcase a week’s worth of research and newspaper clippings on the Bothell Christmas tree

There’s an old hometown superstar in Bothell, one that has been seen in the pages of the Seattle Times and in international headlines. It has been silently keeping a watchful eye on generations of locals. Now, many are a seeing it in all new lights.

The massive pine tree along Main Street and 102 Avenue Northeast has called the same spot home since at least 1911, and recently, Main Street Antique owner Linda Dorset decided to do her homework on their coniferous neighbor.

“It’s a famous tree that’s brought a lot of happiness to the people of Bothell,” she said.

According to her research, beginning in the mid 1930s the tree was strung up with Christmas lights in an annual tradition.

Local businesses would rally together and finance the decorations, and Nims Electric would wire it up. The lighting ceremony was stuffed with ceremony and tradition, with Santa and his wife making annual visits.

The tree appeared in the Seattle Times in 1968, and was hailed as the tallest Christmas tree in the world by Time Magazine in 1962.

It was such an icon that McMenamins commissioned a painting of it for their Anderson School campus.

The tree sat on the same plot as the iconic Lytle House, which has since been moved to the Park at Bothell Landing.

Dorsey thinks when the house was moved some branches were damaged, causing the tree to be topped in the the late 1970s to save it.

Since then, the tree has remained dark on Christmas.

That is until this year, when Nancy Pipinich, a local State Farm agent, bought the property and moved in Dec. 26 of last year with some plans in mind.

“We wanted an old fashioned Christmas. We wanted one that was a gift to the community,” she said.

So Main Street merchants rallied together to fund a tree lighting this year. Bothell City Manager Bob Stowe rededicated the tree, and Santa rode in on a firetruck.

Despite a lack of advertising, Pipinich said the response on social media brought around 800 people out to the tree for the Dec. 4 ceremony.

The tree was lit by lasers this year, as traditional lights would have cost an estimated $10,000 to install and keep lit.

“We want to have traditional lights on it next year,” Pipinich said. “People can expect it to be a longstanding tradition from this point forward.”

A small historical book or website could be in the works as Pipinich hopes the community will send in either stories or pictures to compile, while making new memories.

“We’re gonna keep tradition, and there’s a lot of rich history in our town,” Dorsey said. “We also have to remember the roots of our community.”

Nancy Pipinich can be reached at nancy@oldmaininsurance.com


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Cows at Tollgate Farm Park in North Bend. Photo by Conor Wilson/Valley Record
State’s dairy workers begin earning overtime with new law

“This bill corrects a historic injustice,” said Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines).

The U.S. The Forest Service announced that camp fires are prohibited in the Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest beginning July 30. File photo
Fires banned in Snoqualmie National Forest

The U.S. The Forest Service announced that camp fires are prohibited in… Continue reading

A Darigold dairy worker practices picketing as a strike is approved by the union. Photo courtesy of Julia Issa
Puget Sound Darigold workers on verge of strike amid contract negotiations

Workers cite lack of medical leave, outsourcing and bad-faith negotiations as reason for strike.

Critical race theory became a political buzzword last fall after Gig Harbor resident Christopher Rufo (right) joined commentator Tucker Carlson on Fox News. (Screenshot from YouTube broadcast)
Educational merit of critical race theory sparks heated debate

In Washington, schools have seen parents protest and threaten to remove their children from schools.

The King County Courthouse. File photo
Sexual assault leads to calls for closing King County Courthouse

Crime is rising in the ’dangerous environment that has surrounded our seat of government.’

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations are rising in Washington

Data suggests the vaccine is effective in preventing hospitalization for COVID-19

File photo
King County Council OKs millions for courts overwhelmed by pandemic backlog

Some lawyers testified that the backlog has created an “access to justice” problem.

File photo
Brief history of rats in the Puget Sound region – and the problem they present

Local exterminator noticed big change in rats over the past 40 years.

Design rendering of new development (Courtesy of Runberg Architecture Group)
Vulcan purchases 1.4-acre property in Bellevue next to future light rail station

The real estate developer says the eight-story development will have about 250 units of housing.

Most Read