“At the north pole!”
When Con and Nellie Miller arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1949, they had $1.40 in cash and two hungry kids. Determined to carve out a living in the new territory of Alaska, Con soon became a merchant and fur buyer in the surrounding villages. Donning an old red Santa suit each Christmas, Con earned celebrity status as Santa Claus in the eyes of the village children – the first St. Nick many had ever seen. By 1952, the Millers had decided to build a trading post thirteen miles south of Fairbanks, in an area newly dubbed “North Pole.” One day, while hard at work on the new store, a young Alaskan boy recognized Con and asked, “Hello, Santa Claus! Are you building a new house?” Inspiration clicked…the new store would be called “Santa Claus House!” In those early days, however, Santa Claus House offered more basic necessities than it did Christmas treasures. Situated between two military installations and right in the middle of developing North Pole, Santa Claus House became an impromptu gathering place for area residents. In addition to purchasing their groceries, locals could mingle at the soda fountain or pick up their daily mail, as Santa Claus House, under the direction of Postmistress Nellie Miller, was a mail contract station and served as North Pole’s first Post Office for almost 20 years. As the community grew and changed over the following years, so did Santa Claus House. In 1972 the state rerouted the Richardson Highway, bypassing the store’s location. Undaunted, the Millers built a new storefront on the new four-lane highway, which is the store’s location to this day. Inside, the store’s emphasis on Christmas delights slowly replaced the aisles of well-stocked canned goods. Although Santa Claus House changed, the Miller family commitment’s to the community of North Pole did not. Con Miller served as the mayor of North Pole for 19 years (the city’s longest serving mayor) while Nellie Miller acted as Marriage Commissioner for the community, marrying thousands of couples inside Santa Claus House. The years passed, and Santa Claus House saw the addition of a new wing – as well as a 42 foot tall, 900 pound, three-dimensional Santa Claus statue, perfectly placed just outside the store to welcome both the young and young-at-heart to Santa Claus House.
For all your Christmas needs, Santa and Mrs Claus offer up a "hot spot" for warm beverages, last minute shopping ideas, and a shrine to The Big Man himself. Fantastic experience, wonderful gift shop, and most importantly.......all my questions about Santa have been answered. Yes, I do believe in the Jolly Ole' Fat Guy
Whether you've been naughty or nice, there are a lot of surprises in store for you at the Santa Claus house. Very charming gift shop and a great place to visit for the family.
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Santa Claus House
- Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Sun: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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