Santa Claus Indiana — The One And Only!

Santa Claus is a small town located in Spencer County in the southwestern part of the state of Indiana. The town was founded in 1854 and was named Santa Fe (pronounced fee). The story of how it became known as Santa Claus has roots both in fact and fiction. In 1856, the town applied for a post office under the name of Santa Fe. The application was returned with the directions to choose a different name as the town of Santa Fe, Indiana had already been established with the United States Postal Service. There are different versions of the story and there were other choices that the town did not settle upon. The story that appears most often is that the small area of Spencer County was settled in the 1840’s by German immigrants who were too busy to name it.  They put off naming the town so long that the people in nearby cities referred to it as “The Nameless Town.” In 1892, the residents met at a log church on Christmas Eve to select a name. During the deliberations, the doors of the church blew open and sleigh bells could be heard in the distance, causing the little ones to shout, “It’s Santa Claus!” According to legend, the decision was made to go with that. What is known is that in 1856, the name of Santa Claus was accepted by the United States Postal Service.

In 1895, the post office changed the name to one word Santaclaus. The small town went unnoticed until the 1920s, when Postmaster James Martin began promoting the Santa Claus postmark. On February 17, 1928, the name was changed back to Santa Claus and it was then decided that there would never ever be another Santa Claus Post Office in the United States due to the inpouring of holiday mail and the staffing issues it causes. The growing volume of holiday mail became so massive that it drew the attention of Robert Ripley in 1929, who featured the town’s post office in his nationally syndicated Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

On August 3, 1946, industrialist Louis J. Koch opened Santa Claus Land, which is claimed to be the world’s first theme park. The park’s name was changed to Holiday World in 1984. In 1993, it became Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari when a water park named Splashin’ Safari was added to the park. Still owned and operated by the Koch family, it attracts more than one million visitors each year, and is home to The Voyage, which has repeatedly been voted by coaster enthusiasts the number one wooden roller coaster in the world.
In 2005, a local development company purchased Santa’s Candy Castle in addition to other buildings that comprised Santa Claus Town and announced plans to restore and re-open them to the public. When its doors opened on July 1, 2006, Santa’s Candy Castle was the first building of the original town to be re-opened. The 40-ton, 22-foot concrete Santa Claus statue was restored in 2011. In 2012, a local historic church and the town’s original post office were moved to the site next to the large Santa Claus statue.

Twilight: 10 Years Later

We thought we were in the Twilight clear since the release of the last movie was released six years ago, didn’t we? However, this year is the tenth anniversary of the release of the movie Twilight, which came about three years after the first book in the series was published. And while I will never recommend reading Twilight for literary purposes, the series still makes me a bit nostalgic. Ten years ago, I was a freshman in high school; I was the perfect age and in the perfect place for all of the hype that suddenly surrounded the books and movies, and, boy, did I fangirl hard.

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer is nothing short of problematic in all kinds of areas, but when you’re fourteen, it seems like the greatest love story ever told. I wasn’t thinking about how accurate the representation of certain cultures were in the novel, or that Bella Swan might have been suffering from Stockholm Syndrome a little bit; I was too busy trying to decide if I was Team Edward or Team Jacob, like 75% of my high school (For the record, I was Team Edward). For me, the series is definitely something to cringe about now, but it will always have a special place on the bottom of my bookshelf because I still can’t bring myself to get rid of them.

I’ve heard the Twilight series compared to the Harry Potter series in that the books got kids (and adults) reading. My philosophy has always been that it doesn’t matter what you’re reading as long as you’re reading something, because if you’re reading, you’re learning. My little sister recently discovered Twilight and is currently devouring the series as fast as she can. While I want to recommend other books to her, with more powerful female characters, diverse characters, and accurate representation of various cultures, I’m stopping myself because I’m just glad she’s reading. And I’m glad that she’s enjoying what she’s reading, too. Who am I to dictate what people should be reading? Who am I to judge them based on their reading preferences?

I will gladly congratulate the Twilight movie franchise on its tenth anniversary, as well as the book series for getting people to read. It can even be argued that Twilight helped popularize the paranormal subgenre in teen, young adult, and adult fiction, which is still one of the most checked out subgenres from our shelves to this day.

So enjoy reading or rereading Twilight and watching the movies in honor of the anniversary! And don’t let anyone tell you anything different!

Happy Reading!

$1 Per Bag Sale All November Long

Get ready to stock up on all of your reading essentials and gifts this November! The Book Sale at the Dillsboro Public Library will feature the $1 Per Bag Sale all month long! Fill up as many bags as you want with items and only pay $1 for each bag! You can’t beat that!

Browse the Book Sale for adult fiction, nonfiction, teen fiction, children’s fiction, picture books, large print, magazines, paperbacks, and so much more! You’ll be sure to find something for everyone on your list.

Happy Reading!

History of Thanksgiving In Indiana

Thanksgiving is considered an American holiday.  Just the word Thanksgiving brings to mind images of turkey with stuffing, pumpkin pie, family, football, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag,  the founders of the holiday.

In 1817, New York became the very first state to officially declare the Thanksgiving holiday, a day to give thanks for the harvest and the prosperity of our new nation.  The practice of celebrating Thanksgiving quickly spread through the midwestern and northern states with each state holding its own celebration on a different day.  Thanksgiving in Indiana began in 1837 when then Governor Noah Noble proclaimed December 7th as the state’s first Thanksgiving Day.  All the stores were closed and Indianapolis was in great harmony.  In the evening, a benefit for the poor was held at the city’s Methodist Episcopal church in which all the churches joined.  The day was judged “a happy day.”  By 1857, Indiana had begun to celebrate the holiday on the same Thursday every November and in 1863 joined the northern states in celebrating a national Thanksgiving Day declared by President Abraham Lincoln.

The month of November holds another national holiday.  National Indian Pudding Day is a day to celebrate and enjoy puddings created by the Native American Indians and is celebrated each year on November 13.  To celebrate this day in November before Thanksgiving is appropriate as the Native American Indians were a part of our first feast.  Indian puddings are a number of recipes of native American Indian origin.  They may include molasses, cornmeal and dried fruits as ingredients and are usually baked.

The Library invites you to join us at the Local History Library @ The Depot on Tuesday, November 13 to celebrate with us National Indian Pudding Day.  We will have pudding to sample while supplies last and recipes to take home with you.  Who knows…..Indian Pudding just may be part of your Thanksgiving feast this year.