Santa Claus, Indiana
(by Sharon Stewart)










Event Date:
November 2015


Event Location:  Santa Claus, Indiana  [452 E Christmas Blvd, Santa Claus, IN 47579]

History:  Santa Claus is a town in Spencer County, Indiana, United States, in the southwestern part of the state. Located in Carter, Clay and Harrison Townships, it sits between Interstate 64 and the Ohio River. The population was 2,481 at the 2010 census.

The town was established in 1854 and known as Santa Fe (pronounced "fee"). In 1856, when the town was working to establish a post office, the United States Postal Service refused their first application as there was already a Santa Fe established with the USPS. Several town meetings were held, during which the name Santa Claus was selected.

The town has the world's only post office to bear the name of Santa Claus. Because of this popular name, the post office receives thousands of letters to Santa from all over the world each year. A group of volunteers known as Santa's Elves ensures each child receives a reply from Santa Claus; this tradition has been in existence since at least 1914.[6] Every year, the post office also creates a special Christmas hand-cancellation pictorial postmark for use during December, which also attracts mail from all over the world. The pictorial postmark is chosen each year from submissions from art students at the local high school, Heritage Hills High School.


Review:

Very unique little town that really makes you feel like Christmas!  There are numerous Santa Claus statues throughout the city, and clever names for restaurants, street names, lodges and campgrounds all pertaining to Santa Claus and Christmas-themed things like Frosty’s, Santa’s Candy Castle, Santa Claus Post Office, Santa Claus Museum & Village, Santa Claus Christmas Store, Lake Rudolph Campground and more!  Here are some of the places you can visit. . .

Santa Claus, IN Post Office -
The Santa Claus Post Office is the only post office in the world with the Santa Claus name!  The first Santa Claus Post Office opened its doors in 1856. The town's name did not peak interest however, until 1914 when Santa Claus' 14th postmaster, James Martin, took it upon himself to answer the children's letters.


Soon after, people flocked to the Santa Claus Post Office to get the special postmark; so much that in the early 1930s the US Postal Department suggested changing the name of the town to avoid the Christmas season frenzy. James Martin continued answering letters and eventually enlisted Jim Yellig to aid in helping him write back to children across the world. Today, the non-profit organization, Santa's Elves Inc, and the Santa Claus Museum, organize volunteers to answer all the children's letters that flood this tiny post office during the holidays. Approximately 13,000 letters are answered each year.


Santa Claus Christmas Store & Santa’s Ornament Shop - Enjoy shopping at the gigantic store, featuring Christmas gifts, decorations, hundreds of collectibles, fudge and other sweet treats, and nearly 5,000 ornaments with free personalization. Visit with Santa during the summer and Christmas season.  We got to see Santa in action . . .  a little girl came in with her parents & grandparents, and Santa had her come sit on his lap and tell him what she wanted for Christmas!


Lake Rudolph Campground - Located next door to Holiday World, Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort features over 270 Family Rental RVs and Cabins, over 230 RV & Tent Sites, Santa's Splashdown WaterPark, giant outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and planned activities. Enjoy the RV experience without owning your own RV!


Santa Claus Museum & Village - Step into the town's history as you see their collection of original town buildings dating back to 1856.  You can write a FREE letter to Santa from the town's first post office. Inside the The Santa Claus Museum & Village, you can trace the town's interesting history from mid-1800's to today with historical documents, photos, and artifacts from museum founder and Holiday World matriarch Pat Koch's private collection. See Holiday World archives, along with loaned and donated treasures from collectors with personal ties to the rich history of the town of Santa Claus.


St. Paul’s Santa Claus Church & Historic Santa Statue - St Paul's Santa Claus Church is a recently relocated structure in Santa Claus, IN. It was bought years ago as a vacant building by the Koch family, owners of the nearby Holiday World amusement park. The church is next to another relocated structure, the original Santa Claus Post Office.  The church was built in 1880 and moved to its current location in the winter of 2012. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

The Santa Claus Statue, dedicated to the children of the world, was erected in 1935. Twenty-two feet high and made of concrete, this cherished landmark has a base in the shape of the Star of Bethlehem, with its principal point showing the way east to the land of the Christmas story. A replica of the statue can be found at the Santa Claus Town Hall. In 2011, the original Santa Claus Statue began undergoing renovation and restoration.


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