Home | About | Contact
Custom Search


Santa Claus
Santa Claus, CA

Santa Claus, CA --- It's happened. Think of the trips up or down the 101 Freeway and remember seeing the sign for Santa Claus, CA? How many of you wave at the friendly Santa that sits off the highway on Santa Claus Lane, glad to see his cherubic friendly face yet again. A reminder of a childhood, a reminder of the days when these large giant icons used to grace the vernacular landscape.

Santa Claus during better times
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com


The origins of this property dates back to 1948 when the location began an orange juice strand. Eventually the stand was renamed Santa Claus and the location expanded to several other shops including a toy store and candy store. The homey feel of the new Santa Claus themed shopping village attracted visitors from all over who were looking to grab a date shake, homemade pie, or ride in a Santa Claus themed train. Plus unlike other Christmas themed areas, Santa Claus was open year round!

Time does fly by however and soon with the advent of the 1970s and 80s, some folks saw the themed land as tacky and contrasting with the beautiful beach front nearby. Santa's friend, a plaster snowman, was lost in a windstorm in the late 1990s which left Santa standing alone.

Santa is now sitting in the back area waiting for a new home
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com


Well, some say nothing is forever. In 2000, a structural engineer inspected the building that Santa sat atop of and declared it unsafe. That was the beginning of the end, In Santa's case, the end of almost 60 years came during a weekend in early March, 2002 when the owner of the historic property had this classic treasure removed. The Santa roadside icon has not been destroyed yet as the owner's have granted time for him to find a new home. If you're interested, please contact the Modern Committee of the Los Angeles Conservancy, or send me a note and I will attempt to make the appropriate contacts for you.

Many thanks to Laura J. Funkhouser and David Sorensen for information on Santa.

Santa Claus in the Chimney
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com


UPDATE 12/04 : Santa Claus has been saved and now overlooks Hwy 101 from a vacant lot. Many thanks to architectural historian Edward Cella for this information. 12-04

The Santa Claus shopping village
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com


Remember the Santa Claus that used to wave at motorists as they sped by on US101 in Santa Claus, CA near Carpinteria? After efforts by preservationists and residents from the local communities that cared, Santa was saved from a sure to be embarrassing fate (see Apache Tears in Tucson) and is now intact at a site nearby.

Santa Claus is relocated about 20 miles south of it's original location, and he has been treated with an extreme makeover. He's looking real good and can be seen at the 101 freeway and Rice Rd. in Oxnard. Many thanks to Roy Hooper for this update.


Santa Claus and Friends
Oxnard, CA
Photo courtesy Roy Hooper


And what came of old Santa village? Well it is now a New England fishing village though the Santa Claus Lane name still survives.


More information

KCRW - The rise and demise of Carpinteria’s Santa Claus Lane; December 20, 2019

Carpinteria.com - Santa Claus Lane


Google Street View Image




Back to more Spotlights from Southern California








© Copyright 1998-2021 Syd Nagoshi. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the author.