With Thanksgiving now past, thoughts of the community turn to Christmas as the happiest and gayest season of the year. Wayne will present its usual picture of sidewalks crowded with holiday shoppers; of stores, beautiful both on the exterior and interior, and in the evenings, strings of multicolored overhead lights will add their sparkle to the scene.
As the holiday season progresses, the two main community Christmas trees, and other small ones scattered through the township, will be trimmed with their strings of gay colored lights in anticipation of the carol singing, held shortly before Christmas Eve.
The main community Christmas tree is located on Lancaster pike on the grounds of the old chapel of the Wayne Presbyterian Church. But while this Christmas tree belongs to ALL Wayne, North Wayne also has one of its own, located on a spot that seems built to order for that purpose. This is the triangular piece of ground in the center of the wide opening of Walnut avenue onto North Wayne avenue. In 1951 the purchase of this handsome Nordman fir was sponsored by the North Wayne Protective Association, which in the intervening five years has been responsible for its constant care and for its Christmas lighting, as well as for its evening of carol singing.
The triangle has been there ever since Walnut avenue became a residential street in the 1880’s when the Wayne Estate started to build homes.
In a series of “Your Town and My Town” articles written several years ago, based on information given the writer by George M. Schultz, an old time resident of Wayne, the latter described Walnut avenue as he knew it when he came to this community as a very young man. According to Mr. Schultz, it was the first real residential street in the rural community. With its newly built homes, Walnut avenue had a rather barren look, since most of its present widespreading trees were saplings and the now thick hedges had not been planted. Since the trees in the postcard picture are of moderate size and the hedges are a few feet high the picture was undoubtedly taken several years later, probably in the middle 1890’s.
Both vehicles in the picture are horse drawn – the one on the left being a wagon, perhaps the property of a gardener on the corner property. The vehicle on the right is much like one in a picture lent by Mr. Schultz several years ago to illustrate an earlier article, except that one had two seats placed back to back and accommodated four riders. At the time, Mr. Schultz named this type of pleasure vehicle a “dog cart” and said it often had a lantern attached to it for night driving purposes.
With the help of this picture the eyes and minds of the many who pause to admire the beauty of the Nordman spruce at Christmas time may visualize the intersection of Walnut and North Wayne avenues and the long vista of Walnut avenue, as they looked in the 1880’s.