Sunday, December 18, 2016

Santa's Village, November 1957

We've already seen some of Steve Stuart's family photos of Santa's Village up at Lake Arrowhead; but I have a few of my own to share as well, and December is the time to do it.

Guests are at the entrance to the park, passing giant candy canes and oversized mushrooms (no fungi pictured here, unfortunately). I've always liked the way the ends of the logs that make up the building were painted with decorations - they remind me of traditional Swedish Christmas items that my grandmother had. 

Two boys are bundled up against the cold as they pose next to a simple painted plywood choo-choo. Features like these were about as low-tech as could be, but I find them to be very charming. 

Is this an old fire truck? I'd expect more water storage capabilities, but what do I know. Not much! Either way, it's big, it's red, it's a truck, and kids love it.

Looks like this crazy mechanical clock thingy is for the "Night Time Toys" shop. Or maybe it says "Right Time Toys". "Fight Time Toys"? I like that much better! Baseball bats with nails in them, brass knuckles, nunchucks - anything a person needs to fight dirty. What time is it? Time to fight!


Nanook said...


As much as I like Fight Time Toys, it's actually "Right" Time Toys. And speaking of 'Fight Time', don't forget the Slapjack-! (I do like the colorful simplicity of the clock and the animated figures. it's pure joy.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Nice set today. When is it not? I too love the plywood choo-choo. I've become so burnt out on the razzle-dazzle of Disney Parks these days, that I've come to appreciate low tech simplicity more and more. Charming park it was, at least in Scotts Valley where my memories lie. Did you guys have "Frosty's Snowball Ride" like we did up here in the Scotts Valley Santa's Village? Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, in the magical land inside my head, I am going to continue to believe that it was called “Fight Time Toys”! (What is a “slapjack”?).

K. Martinez, the funny thing is that when Disney uses plywood cutouts, I feel insulted. They’re DISNEY. I hold them to a higher standard. But small family owned parks can get away with low budget props, and I’ll come back for more. I don't know about the "Frosty's Snowball Ride" - I personally never went to Santa's Village, sadly.

Sunday Night said...

I usually left Disneyland with at least one souvenir. I remember a pin button that said something like "I'm Goofy about Disneyland" (with one of those changing pictures of Goofy when you tilted it). I never visited Disneyland, Knott's or Santa's Village and were bought an actual toy while there. I think once my parents spent the money driving out to some theme park and then admission, food and rides they weren't about to pony over more money for a toy. And frankly, I knew it would have been fruitless to ask them. My parents were not cheap but even as a kid I knew they weren't made out of money.

Nanook said...


A 'slapjack', not so simply-put, is a... "Traditionally, they are small leather covered devices that can be used to hit other people. They are lethal, and can cause major bruising and even cuts along the impact area. This type of weapon is also known as a blackjack weapon and in the past, some law enforcement agencies have used them to take down criminals that chose to strike back at them".

Sounds like the perfect 'toy' to roll-off the assembly line at Santa's Workshop-!

Anonymous said...

Major, I only made one visit to this park, when I was very small, but the memories are still green. Thanks for sharing these photos.

I've read recently that this park is re-opening. Makes me want to go see it again.

Kids just make their own deadly weapons these days, no need to encourage them.