Catasauqua Press

Monday, September 24, 2018

Coplay column

Thursday, December 13, 2012 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Columns

Christmas trees a tradition

Having a real evergreen tree is the centerpiece of Christmas for many families. The real tree has regained its prominence from a couple of decades ago when artificial trees grew in popularity in homes throughout Coplay.

A barometer in gauging whether real trees are indeed back can be found with borough crews who pick up the discarded trees after the holidays.

The crews have noted they have collected more Christmas trees the past several years. It will be interesting what they report after the 2012 Christmas holidays.

Only one location in town, at Chestnut and Ninth streets, sells real Christmas trees to the public.

Several area tree farms attract families who select and then cut down their own trees.

It was in the early 1970s that the former Koplay Keystone Kops sold real trees on a lot on Chestnut Street, just west of the post office. Business was brisk.

The Kops kept the lot full with fresh Douglas fir trees, creating the appearance of an evergreen forest with a small log cabin in the midst. When snow fell, it had a Currier and Ives look.

Next to the Keystone Kops lot was a store owned by two women, Koplay Keystone Kopettes.

The store was an inexpensive place where people could buy yule wrapping for presents, wreaths and small presents. It was located in the same building as the post office and a drugstore. The post office now occupies the entire building.

Also, in the 1950s era, the Taniser family, who had a store located at Fourth and Chestnut streets, sold real trees.

The Tanisers then moved the tree business for the holidays to a large empty lot at Chestnut and Cherry streets, close to a tannery. The trees, mostly balsam, arrived on large trucks from Canada.

The trees were inexpensive and it was not unusual for the fathers to purchase a supply of branches and drill holes in the tree and insert the branches to fill the bare spots. At the corner of the lot was a large billboard with the outline of Santa's face, a Coca Cola promotional advertisement.

Later the tannery became the home for a furniture store, Coplay Discount and Food Lane.

The building was eventually razed for the new Laneco. The property is now home to Giant Food.