New Look At Old Middleton – Christmas Tree Farm

As you are driving on Interstate 84 or Old Highway 30 northwest of Middleton, have you ever wondered why there is an evergreen forest in the middle of what used to be agricultural land and is now becoming residential?

The trees are the site of what once was the Purple Sage Christmas Tree Farm. In a copy of the December 4, 1997, Middleton Gazette described it as “The ‘Mall’ of Trees”, and we thought it would be fun to revisit that story during this holiday season.

Christmas trees and the Hopkins family go way back. In the 1940s, Shorty Hopkins was a logger. During the Christmas season, his sons Les and Harold would go to the mountains with him and cut Christmas trees, stuff them in between the logs on the logging truck, and bring them to the valley to sell for extra money. Eventually, the brothers expanded their Christmas tree business, brought more trees down for local lots, and then started their own tree farm in 1970.

During the years of the Farm’s operation, and especially during the holiday season, mom, dad, kids, grandkids, and friends were all involved with helping Christmas shoppers find their perfect tree and have a fun outing at the same time. With over 20,000 trees on 20 acres to choose from, there was a tree for everyone. Along with tree selection, shoppers enjoyed warm drinks, hayrides, the mountain smell of pines, and the peaceful surroundings of nature. All this, just minutes from town.

Even though the freeway bordered the tree farm, you didn’t hear the traffic. The only sounds you were likely to hear were the gleeful squeals of children who had found that perfect tree and the roar of a chain saw.

The trees are not looking as good these days, and the thrill of an outing to Hopkin’s Purple Sage Christmas Tree Farm is no longer possible. The Hopkins family sold their Christmas Tree farm in 2005. But it is fun remembering the Christmas tradition of picking out your own live tree without a long trip to the mountains.

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