Friday, December 21, 2007

Santa's Village 1957, Part 1

Today (and for the next two days) I will be posting some wonderful, early photos from Santa's Village, located near Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernadino Mountains. This little park opened on Memorial Day, 1955 (about six weeks before Disneyland opened), and for many years it was a very popular Southern California destination. You could experience the Christmas spirit all year long!

These photos (restored from magenta hell) are especially neat because they were all taken after a heavy snowfall. It could hardly feel more Christmasy! But man-oh-man, does it look cold.

First up, here are our two protagonists, looking adorable in front of the giant candy cane signpost. Good thing they are bundled up! If I could go back in time to visit S.V., I think I would want to see it like this.

These next two slides don't show too much of Santa's Village itself, but I just loved the feeling of being out in the woods, surrounded by the snow-covered trees. Isn't this next one pretty?

Some poor shnooks (or elves, more than likely) had to shovel out these paths over and over in the winter months! Maybe Santa got them a snow blower, since elves' hands get notoriously chapped. I wonder what mom has in that paper bag?

Wow, here he is, the star himself, SANTA. He looks like he stepped out of one of Haddon Sundblom's Coca Cola ads. Older brother is appears pretty excited to be in the presence of such a star. Remember him from one of my earliest posts, fishing at Knott's? What a contrast! The smaller human (making the goofy face) is his sister, believe it or not. Take a look at this other Knott's image, there she is looking appropriately girly in a nice dress and pinafore.

Stay tuned, tomorrow we'll see more of Santa's Village, with many more details to savor!


outsidetheberm said...

Beautiful shots! That second one of the little chapel looks like a Christmas card.

The Viewliner Limited said...

Fantastic shots. Just as I remember it.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Neat to see pictures of that much snow at SV. And I love the contrast with the summer day at Knotts.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Great images and I will also go on record saying the snow makes it look very Christmas-y! (By the way, it just started snowing here...)

Major Pepperidge said...

Matterhorn, I am a bit jealous of the snow. The last time I went to Wisconsin it snowed, and I was thrilled! The locals thought I was nuts.