Document 34336

Page 10, Monday, December 23, 2013 SPENCER EVENING WORLD christmas edition
Ebenezer Scrooge (Nathan Goss) joins his nephew, Fred
(Brenden Grubb) and his wife (Grace Coryea) for Christmas
during a recent performance of “A Christmas Carol” at McCormick’s Creek Elementary School. (Staff Photo)
Marina Knieriem, daughter of Bobby and Sherry Knieriem of Spencer, came prepared with list
in hand as she visited with Santa Claus at the Owen County Courthouse. (Staff Photo)
All Things Historical…
from the
GES first grader Jocelyn Mooney sings with her classmates
during the school’s 2013 Christmas program. Jocelyn is the
daughter of Alex Mooney and Laura Gentry. (Staff Photo)
Gosport History Museum
by Annie Arthur, Curator
The Nameless Town
James Morley, son of Nathan and Sabrina Morley of Stinesville, was all smiles as he visited with Ol’ Saint Nick at the Owen
County Courthouse. (Staff Photo)
In the late 1840s, a group of
German settlers came to Spencer
County, Indiana and built a community. After establishing the little
town, they could not decide upon
a name for their new home and so
it became know as The Nameless
Town. Then in 1852, on Christmas
Eve, something magical happened.
Most of the town residents were in
the community church for a Christmas service. After it was over, the
people stayed on for a meeting; to
find a name for their town. Calling it The Nameless Town was just
not good enough anymore. Present
was the Reverend, Christian Wyttenbach, a very popular minister
in the area. Someone suggested
naming the town Wyttenbach. But
the minister said, no. His home was
somewhere else and on this night,
he was just a guest in the church.
According to the story, what happened next was very mysterious. As
the people in the church grappled
with finding a name for their town,
a strange noise was heard outside.
It was the ringing of tiny bells. Remember, this was Christmas Eve.
The children in the church became
very excited and ran to the door
shouting, “It’s Santa Claus.” No one
ever knew where the sound of the
bells came from, but the event was
so electrifying they decided to call
their little town, Santa Claus.
Fast forward to the 1920s and we
find a James Martin as postmaster
of the Santa Claus Post Office. He
became aware of the fact that a lot
of mail coming into the post office
around Christmas time was from
children, addressed to Santa Claus.
He began to answer the letters.
As the years went by, the amount
of letters for Santa Claus grew so
much in volume that a helper, Jim
Yellig from the nearby town of Mariah Hill, came to Santa Claus to
help answer the letters. He called
upon the Santa Claus American Legion to help raise money to pay for
all the paper, envelopes and postage
to cover the letters.
Toy companies began to come to
Santa Claus to manufacture toys
that could wear the label “Made in
Santa Claus, Indiana.” In the 1930s
a lawyer, Milton Harris, collected
money to build a castle-like structure with the help of the Curtiss
Candy Company to sell candy to
the many visitors who came each
year with their children to see the
town. Harris then built a small
factory that made sleighs pulled by
reindeer and a local business man,
Carl Barrett, created a park with a
granite statue of Santa Claus.
At this point, the town was satisfied with what it had to offer for
children at Christmas. But after
World War II, a Louis Koch decided
to build a theme park in Santa
Claus, the first-ever theme park to
be conceived. He called it Santa
Claus Land. It had a Mother Goose
Land with a child size train to carry
kids through the park. There was
a toy factory with working elves, a
place to talk to Santa Claus, places
to buy food and a souvenir shop.
In time, the park expanded to
include celebrations of the Fourth
of July and Halloween and became
known as Holiday World.
Today, volunteers known as Santa’s Elves, make sure that every
child who sends a Christmas letter
to Santa Claus, Indiana will be
answered. Every December, the
post office will make a special handcancellation picture postmark for
the event. Today, the community
has a population of around 2,400
residents. Most live in an area
called Christmas Lake Village. It
has three lakes, Christmas, Holly
and Noel. There is also an addition
to the town called Holiday Village.
If you make a trip to Santa
Claus, don’t miss the original post
office where it all began or their
museum telling the story and history of the community. The museum
has antique toys, lots of letters from
children throughout the years that
you can view. They also have a
large collection of historical Santa
Claus toys.
You can visit the 1880 Santa
Claus Church that still has most of
its original furnishings.
Every street in town is named
after something concerning the
holiday. There’s Candy Cane Lane,
Mistletoe Drive, Arctic Circle and
the names of the three wise men,
Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior.
The Bible does not name the wise
men but ancient tradition has given
them these names.
The three fire trucks at the Santa Claus Volunteer Fire Department are named Rudolph, Dasher
and Blitzen, and an EMT vehicle
named Comet. The local Catholic
church is named St. Nicholas. Golfers from all over the world will
order golf balls from the Christmas
Lake Golf Course with its logo on
the golf balls and make them into
white tree ornaments. Only in
Indiana will you find Santa Claus
town. No other town in the nation
has that name.
From the Gosport History Museum, we wish all of you a wonderful
holiday this Christmas season.
Payton Worland, five-year-old son of Earl, Jr. and Amy Worland of Coal City, was beaming as he posed for a photo with
Santa Claus. (Staff Photo by Amanda York)
Charley Frye, son of Jeremy Frye of Gosport, sat up straight
and tall as he visited with Santa Claus at the Owen County
Courthouse. (Staff Photo)
Happy Holidays
From all oF Us at
Wishing you a
Merry
Christmas
& Happy
New Year!
Keith
Trucking
829-4400
This greeting is furnished with gratitude and best wishes, too, each and every one of you.
We sincerely value and appreciate your patronage. Merry Christmas!
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STORE HOURS
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Located on the
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Bloomfield 812-384-8881
716 W. Morgan Street
(Hwy. 46)
Spencer 812-829-8881
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