We were on our way from Kingman to the Ghost Town of Chloride, Arizona. The highway is very desolate and goes from A to B with very little in between. Well, there was this billboard by the side of the road. Santa Claus Arizona? For sale? This was most certainly worth a closer look.
I apologize in advance for the poor photo quality. Technical gremlins were at work that day. Maybe, they were the ghosts of unemployed Christmas elves.
Apparently, the town of Santa Claus was established in the mid 1930's by a real estate developer named Nina Talbot. The idea was to draw people to her land office by disguising it as a tourist attraction. There was food, a place to spend the night and rides for the kids. Maybe oddest of all was the fact that Santa Claus was available everyday of the year. Mind you now, place is in the middle of the desert, yet the owner was sure she could sell lots and actually establish a growing town here. She was wrong...
If we would have found this place about 20 years earlier, I understand we would have still seen the little cars used in the rides and some other things.
Apparently, Ms. Talbot's grand plan never panned out and after losing her shirt, she sold the town in 1949. The new owners kept this building open as a restaurant and it operated for several more years.
In 1950, world famous science fiction writer Robert Heinlein wrote a short story, either about this place, or this place was in the story. Either way, I'm looking for it now.
You NEVER, EVER know what you are going to find in the desert...