Santa Claus is coming to town!
Nob Hill Christmas Historical Society is Proud to host Santa Land. Restoring Portland's most cherished past memories of Christmas, we have collected parts of the Historic Meyer and Frank Santa Land and window displays, as well as the Alpenrose Storybook lane, and Combined Circus and several other department store decorations. Our mission is to keep these things in good condition and available for Families to come see every Christmas.
The Nob Hill Christmas Santa Land is open free to visit Daily, check out Google listing for current hours. And on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm Santa himself comes to visit. We were lucky to run in to Santa while at the Alpenrose Dairy and he agreed to come visit the children at our Santa Land.
Only a portion of our collection is currently on display, each year we are working on restoring additional components and building some new ones to help Santa Land grow.
In addition on Main st in Downtown Oregon City several of the department store windows displays are setup each year. Scenes such as the Nutcracker, 5 Golden rings and Blitzen are reassembled in donated store fronts and available for all to visit.
We hope to see you this year, and Merry Christmas.
Our Santa Story
It started with the Meier and Frank window Displays. With Macy's leaving Portland, the future of the 10th floor Santa Land was uncertain. Santa Land had been moved from the 10th floor to the basement when Macy’s took over. Much of the once wonderful Santa Land had already been removed and shipped out to other Macy stores. We bought the remaining pieces which included 2 complete window displays the “Nutcracker" and “Carolers” which are now displayed each year in Oregon City on Main st. After the first year being back on Main st, we were contacted by a carpenter from Meier and Frank. When Meier and Frank closed he had took the animatronics from the 12 days of Christmas back to his shop. We have been working on restoring the 12 days to also be placed back in window displays during Christmas Time. You can see several of the Geese are currently hanging out in Santa Land waiting for the rest of their window to be recreated.
When Alpenrose Dairy was sold it left a long legacy of community events and of course Christmas. Several organizations moved but the small town that we all remember as Storybook Ln, along with the Opera House, Phylis’s Pianos, and more were all put up to auction. Along with a few other collectors we were able to acquire many parts of this Portland tradition. Kittens in Mittens and Peter Rabbit’s house both now are at Santa Land, along with the Water Wagon and 2 other Wagons from the Alpenrose Combined Circus. Many other small parts and pieces came along as well, like the Portland area N Trak club house sign and several more. The Combined Circus Water Wagon was also made in to the Nob Hill annual custom Ornament 2022 so you can have a small wagon of your own. We were fortunate enough to also get a few rows of seats and the reels of film from the Opera House so we will be showing those movies daily.
After the local tv show the Librarians ended there was a beautiful Sleigh from one of the episodes that we were able to trade for. Being more modern we set up the Sleigh so families can get in, and take photos.
From Alpenrose we ran in to the Portland Area N Trak club and along with Columbia N Track built a fresh layout for Nob Hill, housed in a glass case this N scale train layout is just like the larger layout that lived at Alpenrose and lives by the front door for kids to enjoy. We also have a O Scale set that travels around Santa land and features a Daylight 4449 train which you can ride in person at Oaks Park during Christmas (https://orhf.org/events/
And then there are the Elves… They come from all over but mostly we are having to find them on the east coast. Department store Christmas displays were much larger in the Mid West and East Coast. These small animatronics are no longer made and the only way to find them is from these old department stores as they shut down or downsize. There are 2 main manufacturers, David Hamburger and Telco, both had provided animatronics to the majority of American Christmas displays.
There are so many little parts and pieces, almost every piece around here has its own history, each a piece of Christmas past, being put back together for Christmas Future and for our kids kids to enjoy. Look for the small information boards when you visit for more history.