Santa used to call this Christmas themed roadside attraction in the Arizona desert his home.
The town that popped up along a lonely stretch of Arizona desert in the late 1930’s…
…is now a wasteland of fake snow-topped abandoned buildings melting away in the hot Mojave sun.
Nina Talbot, who marketed herself as the biggest real estate agent in California, and her husband arrived in nearby Kingman, Arizona, in the early 1930s.
The Talbot’s founded Santa Claus, Arizona, in 1937 as an attempt to attract buyers to the desert location.
It featured several Christmas-themed buildings and visiting children could come and meet Santa Claus any day of the year. The town’s post office became very popular in December as children and parents could receive mail postmarked with the town’s name.
While the town did in fact become a popular tourist destination, no one ever bought land there. In fact the only people living there were the ones working in the town. Failing to see how she would make her real estate profits, and with the town in decline, Talbot sold Santa Claus in 1949.
One of the places in town that was genuinely successful was its local restaurant, the Santa Claus Inn (later renamed the Christmas Tree Inn). But even this was not enough to save the town and by the 1970s, it had already begun to fall into disrepair.
Today, all the openings have been boarded up and there are numerous “No Trespassing” signs posted throughout the property. Just one more old school roadside attraction, slowly crumbling in the Arizona desert.
Protecting and preserving historic, sacred, and sensitive sites should be practiced by all. Locations, directions, and names to some of the places found on this site are not listed, please don’t ask for them. Tread lightly, leave no trace and always respect the wonder that surrounds you.