A 145-Year-Old Family Tradition Continues This Christmas - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

A 145-Year-Old Family Tradition Continues This Christmas

Posted: Updated:
In 1868, an ancestor of the Forman family, named David Linsley, received only one present for Christmas when he was six-years-old: a small brass top. That gift has now been passed down five generations. In 1868, an ancestor of the Forman family, named David Linsley, received only one present for Christmas when he was six-years-old: a small brass top. That gift has now been passed down five generations.
DEER PARK, Wash. -

This Christmas a family in Deer Park will carry on a tradition for the 145th year. In 1868, an ancestor of the Forman family, named David Linsley, received only one present for Christmas when he was six-years-old: a small brass top. That gift has now been passed down five generations.

"It's got a few holes in it, so it makes noise when it spins and it sits in this little rack here," said family member Dan Forman.

It is a small item made of brass.

"The top itself is hollow," Dan said.

To anyone else it is just an old toy, but to the Forman family, it is a connection to the past.

"Just the idea of that's the top we spun and the family's been spinning it now for a hundred years," said 89-year-old Robert Forman, the man who spins the top each Christmas for the family.

"We realized this is extraordinary," said Robert's daughter Lucy Jeanne.

Christmas 1868, the top was the only present Lucy's great grandfather received. He could not have possibly known it would still mean so much, so many generations later.

"You feel this sense of responsibility because this little six-year-old boy started it, you know, 145 years ago and you can't be the one to break it," Lucy said.

Break it, they will not. The family now plans their holidays around spinning the top.

"Dad usually has been the one to spin it first, then sometimes after we fight over who gets to spin it next," Dan said.

While everyone takes turns pulling the string, and watching it spin, there is one thing Lucy wishes she could tell her great grandfather.

"I would love to be able to just sit down at a table with him and say, we did it, we kept it going," Lucy said. "And, to let my great grandfather know, I think we did a good job."

Now with five generations watching each Christmas Eve, the top spins and stops, but the tradition will continue.

There have only been two years that the top did not spin on Christmas Eve. Once when David Linsley and his family were moving to Minnesota and it was packed in one of their horse drawn wagons. The second was when the family went on a trip to Illinois and forgot to pack the top in their suitcase. The Forman Family will spin the top this Christmas at a family home in Deer Park with as many family members watching as possible.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:46:53 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
  • Oregon woman missing since Thursday

    Oregon woman missing since Thursday

    Sunday, July 27 2014 4:57 PM EDT2014-07-27 20:57:54 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The small town of Dundee, OR is searching for a mother and wife who has been missing since Thursday. Family and friends are searching for 38 year old Jennifer Huston who was last scene at a gas station located in the southern area of Portland. Since then she has not contacted her family and police say there has been no credit card activity.>>
    KHQ.COM - The small town of Dundee, OR is searching for a mother and wife who has been missing since Thursday. Family and friends are searching for 38 year old Jennifer Huston who was last scene at a gas station located in the southern area of Portland. Since then she has not contacted her family and police say there has been no credit card activity.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Crews make progress in Carlton Complex fire

    Crews make progress in Carlton Complex fire

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:57 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:57:54 GMT
    SEATTLE (AP) - Officials say firefighting crews are making progress against Washington's largest wildfire, saying the 390-square-mile fire in the north-central part of the state is now almost 60 percent contained.The progress at the Carlton complex fire comes as temperatures begin to rise, with the possibility of triple digit temperatures next week. >>
    SEATTLE (AP) - Officials say firefighting crews are making progress against Washington's largest wildfire, saying the 390-square-mile fire in the north-central part of the state is now almost 60 percent contained.The progress at the Carlton complex fire comes as temperatures begin to rise, with the possibility of triple digit temperatures next week. >>
  • KHQ Special: 'Behind the Fire Lines'

    KHQ Special: 'Behind the Fire Lines'

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:46:01 GMT
    KHQ.COM - For over a week, we've heard hundreds of heartbreaking stories from people who have lost everything, to those who refuse to let the firestorm break their spirits. From communities rallying together, to the heroes on the front lines, all that and more inside "Beyond the Fire Lines." If you missed it you can check out the videos inside this article.>>
    KHQ.COM - For over a week, we've heard hundreds of heartbreaking stories from people who have lost everything, to those who refuse to let the firestorm break their spirits. From communities rallying together, to the heroes on the front lines, all that and more inside "Beyond the Fire Lines." If you missed it you can check out the videos inside this article.>>
  • Therapeutic bacteria’s ability to prevent obesity

    Therapeutic bacteria’s ability to prevent obesity

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:10 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:10:46 GMT
    (KHQ MD)- An exciting new study is showing some very promising hope in the fight against obesity. A scientist at Vanderbilt is creating a bacteria that acts as a therapeutic compound in the gut preventing weight gain, even in high-fat diets.>>
    (KHQ MD)- An exciting new study is showing some very promising hope in the fight against obesity. A scientist at Vanderbilt is creating a bacteria that acts as a therapeutic compound in the gut preventing weight gain, even in high-fat diets.
    >>