Santa Claus, Indiana

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Santa Claus, Indiana, is a town located in Carter, Clay and Harrison townships, Spencer County in Southwest Indiana, between Interstate 64 and the Ohio River.

Santa Claus, Indiana, was established in 1854. In 1856, when the town (then known as Santa Fe, pronounced "fee") was working to establish a Post Office, the US Postal Service refused their first application as there was already another Santa Fe, Indiana. Several town meetings were held, during which the name Santa Claus was selected.

The town has the world’s only post office to bear the name of Santa Claus. Because of this popular name, the post office receives thousands of letters to Santa from all over the world each year. A group of volunteers known as "Santa’s Elves" ensures each child receives a reply from Santa Claus; this tradition has been around since at least 1914. Every year, the Post Office also creates a special Christmas hand-cancellation pictorial postmark for use during the month of December, which attracts mail from all over the world. The pictorial postmark is chosen each year from submissions from art students at the local high school, Heritage Hills H.S.

Santa Claus is currently home to approximately 2,200 residents. According to the 1990 census, 927 people resided in Santa Claus. By 2000 the town's population had grown to 2,075. A majority of Santa Claus residents live within the gated community of Christmas Lake Village, which was first established in the late 1960s by Bill Koch. It consists of 2,500 acres (10 km2) developed around three lakes: Christmas Lake, Lake Holly, and Lake Noel. The street names in Christmas Lake Village are all themed and named after the Christmas season. Many residents also live in Holiday Village, a subdivision on the north side of town.

Santa Claus is the home to numerous themed attractions including: Santa's Candy Castle, Santa Claus Museum [1], Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, Frosty's Fun Center, and Christmas Lake Golf Course. It is also home to Santa's Lodge and Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort.

Contents

History

The community of Santa Claus was laid out in 1846. The story of how it received the name of Santa Claus has roots both in fact and legend. In January 1856 the town applied for a post office to be installed. They submitted their application under the name of Santa Fe. The application was returned to them with the message, "Choose some name other than Santa Fe." The process of settling upon the name of Santa Claus has been lost to legend. There are many different versions of the story and there were other choices as well that the town did not settle upon. What is known is that on May 21, 1856, the name of Santa Claus was accepted by the Post Office Department, and the first post office was opened with John Specht as its first postmaster.

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