Clearfield Man Shares Christmas Spirit by Decorating Tree on Train Trestle

(Photo by Steven McDole)

(Photo by Steven McDole)

CLEARFIELD – The Christmas season is a time of surprises, and not just for the children.  Even adults find things that are wonderful, fun or unique.

Among those people are usually the ones who step out to make the holidays special for other people.  Arnold Swales of Clearfield is one of those people.

Last year, he decided to do something different, and those who noticed have been impressed and amazed at his creativity.

Near Golden Rod is an abandoned train trestle over Clearfield Creek. Swales said he noticed a little tree growing in the middle of the trestle about 10 years ago and thought it was interesting.

He said he thought eventually he would do something, and last year he took the initiative and decorated the tree for Christmas.

To access the trestle he parks in the driveway of a neighbor and then walks through the woods to the trestle and out to the tree.  He said the trestle is shaky, but stable.

Many people think he put the tree there, but the truth is that the tree started growing all by itself, Swales said.

Swales said people ask him how he lights the tree, and he jokes that he has a lot of extension cords connected together.

Actually, the tree has solar-powered lights and depending on the amount of sunlight during the day, they can be lit for several hours at night.  Last year he also had a garland on the tree, he said.

This year he decided to add decorative bulbs and he would like to find a solar-powered tree topper. However, he hasn’t been able to locate one for this year.

How long does Swales expect to be trimming the tree?

“Oh, probably forever!” he replied, adding that he would like to keep doing it as long as he can and plans to keep adding to the tree each year.  He said he gets a lot of compliments on the tree.

The decorations will remain on the tree until the end of January, weather depending.

When driving through the Golden Rod area, look towards the trestle and experience a little bit of the fun of Christmas.

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