Sunday, December 25, 2016

Santa's Village, November 1957


I wasn't sure what to share on this day, so I decided to post the last 4 slides from Santa's Village, circa 1957. Seemed appropriate.

There's a cute little train, unfortunately sort of lost in the shadows (that harsh winter sun...), but you get the gist of things. It was chilly up there in the Lake Arrowhead vicinity, everyone is bundled up with hats and mittens. There are no grownups along for the ride, I wonder if this was a "kids only" attraction. If so it must have been exciting to ditch mom and dad for a minute or two!

Is this a petting zoo, or just a looking zoo? All those deer know is that nobody has a handful of chow for them. Popcorn? Thanks for nothin'! And I might not know much, but I am smart enough to avoid a mean goose. 

Before leaving, dad snapped two photos of the parking lot and the charming entry into Santa's Village. This first one is the best, in my opinion. That forest is the real deal! One of my favorite memories of trips to the mountains is stepping out of the car and taking a deep breath that pine-scented air.

Here's the second one, and it's not bad, though we get a better look at the cars in the first one.

I hope that everyone has a peaceful and happy day.


Nanook said...


I don't know about those folks, but I'm proud to say for my visit to Santa's Village in 1957, as we all know, I was fattening-up at least some of their fleet of fauna.

Merry Christmas to everyone. (You too, Melissa).

TokyoMagic! said...

That last pic shows the Santa's sleigh ride attraction. The sleigh can be seen just to the right of the entry building and it's even being pulled by real reindeer (as opposed to imitation reindeer). In the second to last pic, the sleigh is mostly hidden behind the building, but we can still see a couple of the reindeer.

I wonder what kind of animals were kept in the taller, wire-enclosed pen behind the deer pen? And is that barbed wire above the top railing? Maybe that's where they kept the scary half-man, half-pumpkin character that lived at Santa's Village?

Merry Christmas, Major and everyone!!!

TokyoMagic! said...

And is that the Easter Bunny with a yellow egg, hiding behind the tree trunk in the train photo? He lived at Santa's Village too, ya know!

K. Martinez said...

Merry Christmas to all!

Nancy said...

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! :-)

Unknown said...

Merry Christmas to all and sundry!

Oh, that mountain air, Major! We used to visit Idlewild (in the next mountain range over) each October to celebrate our neighbor's birthdays. That cool mountain air so heavy with the scent of sugar cone pines was wonderful after the long drive up from San Diego. I miss those days. It must mean a day trip looms in the near future.

TM!, if you've ever lived around deer and elk you'll have seen that rail fences like those are no impediment to their mobility. My guess is that fence in the background is the real enclosure for the fauna. And say, by the spots on their coats I'd say that's more like fawn-a!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to all. We lived in Lancaster in the late 50s and one of the big outings (in our 53 Plymouth) was a visit to THIS Santa's Village. Always a treat to get to the mountains and usually we were lucky to have a little real snow on the ground. Looking at the parking lot, I recall that they would attach (by wire) a 'bumper sticker' on most of the parked cars advertising the Village. Everyone would at least drive home with it on the bumper...removing it at home. Wish I had one now for memories. Anyone else recall this?? KS

Mark H. Besotted said...

Merry Christmas, Major! Merry Christmas, peanut gallery!

I hope the newly reopened Santa's Village is both true to the old school fun, and has some new low-tech things. (I just saw the two Prep and Landing specials for the first time, and though the North Pole's mass transit system -- skybuckets that look like tree ornaments -- would be a perfect addition to that park.)

Anonymous said...

Very seasonal selections today, Major, thank you. Lots of good memories of Christmas past.

Wishing the best of Christmas and Happy New Year to the whole GDB gang. Here's to another year of theme park reminiscing.