Community Crab Basket Christmas Tree in Rock Hall

December 22, 2016

Rock Hall Marine Restoration & Heritage Center
by Robin Wood Kurowski
December 22, 2016

After several friends suggested to the Town of Rock Hall and Mayor Brian Jones that a Community Crab Basket Christmas Tree be constructed for the holiday season, a master plan was quickly put in to motion for a new Rock Hall tradition.

Mayor Jones contacted Sheila Strong Lingerman, owner of Chester River Seafood, to help undertake the project. Sheila’s sister-in-law, Nikki Strong, is owner of the crafting business Shore Goose. With friend Beth Collins Councell, the three came up with a concept to offer memory baskets for sale to decorate the tree with proceeds going to Rock Hall Parks & Recreation.

Soon the word spread of the memory baskets, and the basket crew began to paint and decorate 88 baskets.

Sheila enlisted her husband, Chris Lingerman, her parents Betty Ann and Buffalo Strong, her brother Jaimie Strong, children Brody and Brianna Pierce and cousins Becky Hill Marshall and Holly Elburn VanDyke to help Nikki with the basket painting.

Rock Hall resident and carpenter, Ziggy Carter, was brought on board to help. The construction of the rings and structure that supported the framework and baskets to form the tree was managed and built by Ziggy with help from Kevin Middleton, Troy White and David Olsen.

Helping set the tree in place were Bobby Kelley and Robert Strausser.

Some people painted and decorated their own baskets. Plain baskets were set to fill the 15 tiered over 25 foot tall tree complete with crab topper constructed by Buffalo Strong.

The basket crew and the construction team worked many hours over a 12 day period to make the tree come to life.

On Monday, December 12th, the tree was set on the old Rock Hall Inn lot on Main Street. A celebration and lighting took place that evening at 7PM with the volunteers, Town of Rock Hall, Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company and community.

Please visit this special tree over the holidays. Next year, Sheila says that the basket crew hopes to begin baskets in October.

The full listing of Memory and Community Crab Baskets on the Rock Hall Marine Restoration and Heritage Center’s Web site –

Rock Hall's Basket Tree - Photo: SG Atkinson

Rock Hall’s Basket Tree – Photo: SG Atkinson

Rock Hall's Basket Tree - Photo: SG Atkinson

Rock Hall’s Basket Tree – Photo: SG Atkinson

Rock Hall's Basket Tree - Photo: SG Atkinson

Rock Hall’s Basket Tree – Photo: SG Atkinson

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