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CHICAGO — For the holiday season this year, 1,200 trees made the journey from upper Michigan to be part of the Christmas ship at Navy Pier, decked with trees.

Volunteers from across the area, including students from Lincoln-Way Central High School loaded trees onto trucks to be delivered to families in need over the next week.

“We’re having a good time and the weather is holding up really well. I’m just pleased we’re able to honor the legacy of the boats that have come across Lake Michigan before us,” Jamal Malone of Ada S. McKinley Community said.

This is now the 22nd year for the modern Christmas ship.

A re-enactment of Chicago’s original tree ships from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the final journey occurred in November 1912, when the Rouse Simmons, under the command of Herman Schuenemann sunk with 5,000 trees on “Captain Santa.”

The current ships provide a happier tale, a service by the U.S. Coast Guard and the volunteers who come out every year.