Long Island's Hidden Past: Lake Ronkonkoma Christmas tree

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LAKE RONKONKOMA -

For several decades it has been a worldwide symbol of Christmas. News 12 Long Island's Danielle Campbell tells us why a special tree from Lake Ronkonkoma lit up the holidays!

MORE: Long Island's Hidden Past | Photos

Kevin McCabe's great-great-grandfather, James Cattanach, had a summer estate on Lake Ronkonkoma. 

Right smack in the middle, is where the Christmas tree came from. 

Back in 1870s, Cattanach planted several pine trees on his Lake Ronkonkoma estate - for his daughter Annie. 

Fast forward to 1951 - one of the, now enormous, trees is chopped down. It's destination - Rockefeller Center. 

Not only was the 75-foot Norway spruce believed to be the only tree from Long Island, it was also the first Christmas tree to be lit on television.

The Lake Ronkonkoma tree was seen across the country and became a national symbol of Christmas magic.
 

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