Saturday, September 03, 2011

Anything Goes Saturday - The North Pole

Let's take a trip to the North Pole! Alaska, that is. Located in the Fairbanks area, the North Pole is a popular tourist destination. The most famous attraction is the gift shop seen in today's two photos: the Santa Claus House! A man named Conrad B. Miller (are you taking notes?) opened a trading post in 1952 that eventually because the Santa Claus House; that must have been just a few years before this first photo was taken. I love the "roadside" feel that this picture evokes!

SCH was home to the town's first post office, and for 20 years it received thousands of letters from kids and weirdos who wrote to that jolly old elf.

This second photo was snapped more than a decade later, but things hadn't changed much! A candy-cane striped pole was added to the top of the structure (probably as a response to the millions of insane visitors who inquired as to the location of "the pole"). But the road was still unpaved.

Out of curiosity, I did a search on the Google. Here's the Santa Claus House today. Wha' happen?!


TokyoMagic! said...

Those Northern Lights above the building are a tad psychedelic! Major, is the newer building in the same location?

Nancy said...

oh wow. such pretty colors all gone. lets send them the second photo and say hey, how could you not want to restore this!

on the up side, the fact that it is still around is probably a good thing when they so often do away with stuff like this that is not "exciting" enough for most people these days (the way of Horizons and If I Had Wings :**(

cool post....had to say it!

another password is "cones"

Connie Moreno said...

Love that first shot - is that a soldier I see? Perhaps he stopped by to ask Santa if he could go home for Christmas. Gee, of course they had to expand...think of all that merchandise they could stock. Phooey. I liked it better the original way. Although the paved road is a nice touch.

Anonymous said...

This is like something that would have figured into the plot of an episode of the great 90s TV series Northern Exposure!

Chuck said...

It's hard to tell the number of stripes on the GI's sleeve on my computer screen, even when I zoom way in, but it looks to me like one blue & silver stripe, which would make him an airman second class rather than a soldier. That's logical for the era considering North Pole's location on the highway between Eielson AFB and what was then Ladd AFB (today's Ft Wainwright) and the large USAF presence there supporting Cold War ops. I sure hope Santa gave him his wish.

JG said...

Looks like Santa got good-tastified.


Sometimes, there's no substitute for roadside crass.

Thanks Major.


Anonymous said...

I have picture of my grandparents in front of the place from the late 60s.

Jru said...

511 Santa Claus Lane, has been a Park for a While now since the New Richardson Highway bypassed the town, in 1972 (20 years After Opening in 1952) the Original Santa Claus House at 511 Santa Claus Lane; Adjacent to the Old Richardson Highway, was Demolished, and a New one was Built along the New Richardson Highway, at 101 Saint Nicholas Drive.

Since 1972 they have been Expanding, into what they are Today.

They Just Celebrated their 65th Anniversary.