OK, you want Christmas year round? You like looking at jolly old elves in red clothing daily? Then Santa Claus, Indiana is for you.
According to Wikipedia, Santa Claus was established in 1854. In 1856, when the town (then known as Santa Fe, mispronounced “fee”) was working to establish a Post Office, the US Postal Service refused their first application as there was already another Santa Fe in the state. Several town meetings were held, during which the name Santa Claus was selected.
The town apparently has the world’s only post office to bear the nameof 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.
Imagine that…a Christmas Store in Santa Claus, Indiana.
I wonder if this store sells hardware for the elves….
Santa Claus is also the home to Holiday World Amusement Park.
Back in late May 2008 I was on a return trip home from Ontario via Michigan. I made my way through Central Michigan. As I had been told to “go to Hell” a few times, I decided I would finally go to Hell…in Michigan (see entire trip report)
Hell, Michigan is actually not a real town. It is a “tourist trap” in the midst of the Pinckney Recreation Area, about five miles north of Pinckney, MI. It is, honestly, quite a scenic drive. To get there from the town of Pinckney you need to take south Howell Rd. (no joke…you get to Hell via Howell Rd. — Hell is in the name of the road).
The village of Hell has made a great effort to make sure you know you were in Hell. Here are a couple of pictures….
The actual post office is not in Hell, but in Pinckney, though they have a “branch” in Hell that will stamp an additional “Hell Post Mark” on it though Pinckney will also be added to it.
They have some unique souvenirs in the two shops, and a unique ice cream shop (Scream’s Ice Cream) and even have a “Mayor”. I liked the bench. Note that I sat on the “Hell Flames Bench” while wearing my Utah Blaze hat.
If you ever get to Central Michigan, you should definitely go to Hell. If anything else, it will be fun for all. Send a burnt post card from Hell and have some Ice Cream at Scream’s!!
A couple of days ago I posted an article about Earth, Texas. Back in 2007 I had occasion to visit a friend of mine in Alberta, Canada. One of the side trips we tool was to the town of Vulcan, which has taken full advantage of its name and the association with the TV show Star Trek.
Vulcan is a town located midway between the cities of Calgary and Lethbridge inthe prairies of Southern Alberta, Canada. The population of the town was 1,940 in 2006, and the population of the county, which is also named Vulcan, was 3,718. According to Wikipedia, “The town was named by a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railroad in 1915 after the Roman God of Fire – Vulcan. Originally all the streets of Vulcan were named after gods and goddesses of the classical world such as Juno, Mars and Jupiter.”
There are indications all over the town of Star Trek. The town took on the Star Trek theme after the great popularity of the TV Show and now has Star Trek visitations all the time, as can be evidenced from their website (linked above).
There is an Enterprise Restaurant, the visitor’s center is space themed (and you can even buy pointed Spock Vulcan Ears there!!). They even have a statue of the Starship Enterprise!
As one drives around the town, there are signs for parks, etc., with the Enterprise logo…
All told, Vulcan is a unique and interesting place to visit….