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Santa Claus Indiana

Santa Claus is a town located in Spencer County, Indiana .

History of Santa Claus Indiana

In the late 1840s, a group of settlers–mostly of German descent–formed a small community in Spencer County in Southern Indiana . A very weighty problem plagued them and that was the lack of a name for their town. In fact, the community became known as the "nameless town." There were many suggestions, but every time somebody made a suggestion, it was discovered that some other town already had that name.

In 1856 the Christmas Eve service had just concluded in the little log church, and everybody was there. All were gathered around the pot-bellied, wood-burning stove. The circuit-riding preacher, who had just preached the service, was there, too. He was a popular fellow–the Reverend Christian Wyttenbach. So esteemed was this minister that somebody suggested naming the town Wyttenbach, Indiana .

In the course of the session Santa Claus appeared with his bag of goodies. This inspired one of those present to suggest the name Santa Claus for the town, and the motion was passed unanimously. Seven years later in 1856 the Post Office Department accepted the name Santa Claus Indiana , and the first post office was opened.

Some years later the town's activities were moved two miles along the road to Santafee leaving behind only the Methodist church and the campground. The Post Office, however, did move and its postmarks continued to be used from the new location. The two communities were merged in the 1880s, retaining the Santa Claus name. In 1895 the Post Office name was changed to the one word "Santaclaus" but this was changed back in 1927.

In 1946 the retired industrialist Louis J. Koch set up Santa Claus Land, which is claimed to be the first theme park in the world. The park's name was changed to Holiday World in 1984. In 1993 water rides were added under the name Splashin' Safari. More recently the development of Christmas Lake Village as a gated community has more than doubled the population of Santa Claus .

Santa Claus Indiana Post office

Ever wondered where all those letters addressed to Santa Claus go? Well most of them end up right in Santa Claus Indiana . The small town is filled with big Christmas cheer year-round, with dozens of Santa Claus statues and with street signs storefronts named in the Christmas spirit.

A volunteer group, named Santa's Elves gather together around Christmas time, to open and reply to children's letters to Santa Claus from around the world.

In the 1920s, Jim Martin was postmaster of the Santa Claus Post Office. He noticed that a number of letters, addressed to " Santa Claus ," were being sent to his post office. After a while, he decided to answer these letters, so as not to disappoint the children. In the early 1930s, Jim Yellig from the neighboring town of Mariah Hill volunteered to help answer the children's letters–which were arriving in greater numbers each year. Yellig solicited the help of the Santa Claus American Legion to join in the project. Fund-raisers were held to secure money to pay for the letterhead, envelopes and postage. The practice of answering children's letters to Santa Claus continues to this day.

Santa Claus , Indiana 's holiday events
Spencer County Visitors Bureau
PO Box 202
Santa Claus, IN 47579
Toll-free: 888-444-9252

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