Born in Gotha, Germany, in 1855, Elise Traut started one of New Britain's best traditions – the Christmas Tree in Central Park. Active in community organizations and an avid writer, she resided on Arch Street. In 1912, she observed five children decorating a bush near her home. Upon speaking with them she discovered this was their only Christmas Tree. Thereafter, she funded a municipal tree in the heart of the city and bequeathed funds to perpetuate the annual custom.
Walnut Hill Park Rose Garden, 1st Street, New Britain, CT 06051