Top Add

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Cold Evening in Santa Claus, IN

Did you ever wonder where all those letters you sent to Santa as a kid ended up?  Much like you expected, they ended up in a frozen arctic wasteland.  However, instead of showing up at the North Pole like you had hoped, they ended up in Indiana.  A fact that is down right depressing if you think about it.

Back in 1859 the town of Santa Fe, IN received a letter from the United States Post Office.  They were informed that there was already a Santa Fe in New Mexico and were asked to pick a new name. I figure that the federal government didn't want them to trick people into seeking out warm weather in Indiana.

The residents of Santa Fe decided to give the Feds a smart ass answer and asked to be called Santa CLAUS.  They name stuck, but would be end up being a blessing and a curse.
Because of the "Santa Claus" name the town ended up getting millions of letters addressed to Santa Clause the person, so much that extra help has to be brought in around the holidays to handle the unholy influx of mail.

Meanwhile, several savvy entrepreneurs tried to take advantage of the town's unique name.  In the 1930s two competing entrepreneurs created two separate Christmas themed attractions.  One was Santa's Castle, which was at one time a roadside attraction featuring Christmas themed miniatures.  The castle still stands, but it is now simply a candy store.


Around the same time "Santa Claus Land", the world's first amusement park was created.  The amusement park is still in operation, but has changed its name to "Holiday World" in the 80s.

I rolled into town on a cold February evening expecting to find a Christmas Paradise.

First of all, I cannot over state the fact that Santa Claus is in the middle of absolute nowhere.  I drove through endless miles of cornfields searching for Santa Claus.  Finally in the middle of absolute nowhere I spotted several giant roller-coasters poking out into the distance.


And that is basically what Santa Clause, IN, a massive towering amusement park in the middle of a million miles of corn fields.  The town itself only has a population of 2,000.

As far as my hopes of a Christmas paradise, I was a little let down.  They did however, have a grouping of fiberglass Santas greeting me.




There was a small Christmas motif in the town, including this down right depressing Liquor Store Sign.


As a Human Service professional I would like to say that wine is not a suitable replacement for therapy.

I found the world's oldest statue of Santa Clause, perched on the highest point in town.  Of course this is Indiana, so its not up that high.  Even though the hill was not that high, I was not willing to walk in thigh high snow in sub zero temperatures to get a decent picture.


As night fall quickly fell, I desperately criss crossed around town trying to get pictures.  This apparently awoke the suspicions of the Santa Clause Police Department, as they pulled me over and asked why I was driving back and forth across town.  I told them I was just looking around town and the officer sent me on my way as the stars came out in the cold little town of Santa Claus, IN.

The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Let's talk about Mold-A-Ramas


A look at the current state of Mold-A-Ramas





The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Coon Dog Cemetery


The pet cemetery is very interesting phenomenon to me.  In one sense I understand completely, as I am a pet lover.  In another sense, I can not deny that it is striking to see, a cemetery is an inherently human construction and to see pet names and non human pictures on them is something your brain has trouble processing. 




This past November I had a chance to see one of the most exclusive and specific cemeteries in the world:  The Coon Dog Cemetery in Cherokee, NC.


Now, I must admit, my knowledge of coon dogs is somewhat limited.  From what I can gather they are dogs that are used in the hunting and shooting of racoons.  I'm not clear if they are a specific breed of dogs are not.  Most of all, I am not clear on why they have their own cemetery in the backwoods of Alabama.


Okay, why does it say "Be careful with fire!".  Why would you bring fire to a cemetery anyways?

These fine monuments greet you at the entrance.



The Coon Dogs are all buried in marked graves, with obvious reverence......






And you have to appreciate some of these zany names......





The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.


Monday, April 20, 2015

What will Become of Ghost Town in the Sky?

I have talked a great deal about the trials and tribulations of the classic Amusement Park "Ghost Town in the Sky".   You can read my past article and see pictures HERE.  Recently I took a visit to Ghost Town to see the current status.  Check out the video below.



Also, I recently posted this video from 2007 of a Ghost Town gun fight.





The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Big Blue Whale

This past November I had a chance to go on an awesome roadtrip across the South and out to Texas.  I had the pleasure of seeing Route 66 for the first time in my entire life.  One true pleasure was to finally get to meet the Big Blue Whale.


Found in Catoosa, OK the Blue Whale is one of the most well known of examples of roadside fiberglass architecture.

An interesting thing about the whale is that was at one point the center piece of a lost roadside attraction.  The attraction was known as the Animal Reptile Kingdom or A.R.K. a roadside zoo contained in a replica of Noah's Ark.  The dilapidated Ark sits quietly off to the side, almost completely forgotten.


There are a few other relics of the old Zoo such as this cage.....


And these strange mushrooms.....


According to these vintage postcards I bought, this place looked awesome......


And they even had Alligators!


Don't get confused either.........As I have previously discussed, alligators DO live in Oklahoma.....

The whale itself used to be a huge local draw as local children jumped off and swam in the lake.....


Now the lake is a little bit murky and gross.  I asked the lady that ran the small gift shop if anyone swam in the lake anymore.  She said there was only one person that did:  a lady from Wisconsin.  She explained that the lady accidentally dropped her keys in the water and spent four hours slopping around trying to find them.  She never did.


Its still a blast to crawl around inside the whale.





The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Visit to South of the Border


Recently I had a chance to return to one of of the marvels of the Roadside World:  South of the Border.   I had a chance to poke around the abandoned carnival section and visit the new Reptile Lagoon.




The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Three Siamese Twins of North Carolina, A Journey Completed


I made it a goal to visit the graves of the three most famous Siamese Twins in the world, all which happen to be buried in North Carolina by pure happenstance.   Check out the video below.




The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.