Crook Farm

Linda Brocius, in background with wreath, jokes with Ann Esch during a Wednesday morning session at Crook Farm to prepare a variety of pine branches for Bradford Landmark Society’s wreath-making classes during upcoming Sunday sessions. Also shown, at left, are Sheryl Silvis, and Margi Knox, right background; and Judy Yorks, right foreground.

The fragrance of fresh-cut pine filled the air of the Crook Farm bank building Wednesday as board members and volunteers with Bradford Landmark Society prepared the branches for their eventual transformation into Christmas wreaths.

At 1 p.m. on Sunday, Crook Farm instructor Linda Brocius will teach a group of students how to create the wreaths, complete with colorful bows, during a class at the historic Seaward Avenue farm.

While that class is filled, Brocius said two other classes at 1 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 8 at the Crook Farm bank building are open and available to students who want to make live wreaths the old-fashioned way. The sessions are $25 and all proceeds will benefit Bradford Landmark and its activities to preserve the history of the community and area.

“These are mixed wreaths, they’re made with a mixture of white pine, cedar and Norway spruce,” Brocius explained. “And (the students) all get to make one and take it home.”

She said the pine branches were donated from a local source, Oak Hill Cemetery, where they had been trimmed from trees growing on the hillside property above East Main Street.

“One of the gals who works with Landmark has an association with Oak Hill Cemetery,” Brocius continued. “So they allowed (her and others) to go and trim the branches from the trees.”

Robert Esch, vice president of Bradford Landmark, said the wreath-making classes, which have been offered for several years, are more than just a fundraiser for the organization.

“Holidays are a lot about making memories,” Esch remarked. “This is the mindset of what we are doing. All of us recall making wreaths from ground pine” that was attached to metal frames made of coat hangers.

He said that as forests in the area have changed, the availability of ground pine has diminished, making the creation of homemade wreaths difficult for many people.

“For a lot of folks (there will be an understanding) that this has a history, too,” Esch said of wreath-making. In addition, he hopes participants will realize that they “don’t have to go to big box stores to buy wreaths.”

Esch further noted the upcoming classes will not only be craft sessions, but will also share the history of the art, make memories for participants and create something beautiful to adorn the outside of a house. He said if the wreaths are given as a gift, the receivers will certainly know they were “made with love.”

Brocius added, “This is something to keep an old art going because people don’t do this stuff anymore.”

People interested in taking one of the upcoming classes should call Bradford Landmark society at 362-3906 as soon as possible as space is limited.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)