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Harvesting national tree a family tradition for Cogar

By Brad Johnson, executive editor, The Inter-Mountain

ELKINS, W.Va. — One of the men who harvested the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Randolph County is now part of a family tradition involving the national trees.

Arden Cogar Jr. is a lifelong Mountain State resident whose family is well-known for its association with the timber industry for six generations, and has had a strong presence in lumberjack sports for more than 60 years.

His father, Arden Cogar, Sr., harvested the 1976 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree from the Gauley Ranger District. But 13 years earlier, Arden Cogar, Sr. also harvested the 1963 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree on a farm in Pickens in Randolph County.

Mary Winkler “offered a 100-year-old red spruce to President John F. Kennedy in November 1963 for installation on the White House lawn, according to the book “Haven in the Hardwood,” by Arnold Nelson.

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