Santa Claus Cemetery

Trip Start Jul 20, 2002
Trip End Sep 05, 2002

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Flag of United States  , Indiana
Wednesday, July 31, 2002

When I was little, I always wanted to visit Santa Claus, Indiana. I assume you need not be told why a little kid would want to visit a place called Santa Claus. But for whatever reason, even though it was just down the road a spell from Louisville, I was never able to go. By 2002, though, I was a man, and like a man, I could finally actualize my dream and go visit a small town in Indiana named after a jolly fat guy who used to bring me GI Joe and Buck Rogers toys. Oh, we could also visit the Abraham Lincoln boyhood home, finally completing my "Life and Locations of Abraham Lincoln" collection (which previously included his birthplace in Kentucky, his home in Springfield, Gettysburg, the Lincoln Memorial in DC, Ford's Theater, and his grave).
Santa Claus is pretty much what you would expect. The highlights of the small town are, of course, the giant statues of Santa Claus, a disturbing snowman fountain that just looked like a screaming snowman gushing water as he melted in the painful fashion, and the ever-popular "Santa Claus Cemetery," used for years by cruel fathers to torment their children.
Santa Claus was originally called Santa Fe, but according to the story, when they applied to the US Postal Service for a post office in the mid-1800s, they were told they couldn't be Santa Fe, and had to come up with a different name. Exactly how and why Santa Claus became plan B, and how much spite and grumbling went into submitting the name, is a matter of suburban legend. Now it's home to a couple scary, grinning Santa statues, that snowman I will forever see in my nightmares, and Holiday World, a seasonal holiday themed amusement park boasting a really good roller coaster.
Nearby is the Lincoln Boyhood Home was of interest to me because I'm always interested in Presidential residencies for some reason. I've learned more than anyone needs to about Thomas Jefferson's riding boots and Woodrow Wilson's childhood dressing gowns. My goal is to visit at least one home of every President. I've got Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Adams (both of them), Madison, Cleveland, Arthur, Carter, Roosevelt (both of them), Garfield, and if you want to count him, Jefferson Davis, under my belt. Still a long way to go.
The site includes a museum, a chapel, and a short nature walk through corn fields and randomly scattered farm implements to the cabin itself, where you can also chase chickens and such, just like I assume Lincoln used to do when he wasn't wrestling or counting the days until he could grow a beard.
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