13849 Phipps Road
Albion, New York
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Charles W. Howard 1896 – 1966
In 1937 he established here a world famous Santa Claus School, the first of its kind & 1953 Christmas Park
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa Claus
What was there
The family home of Charles W. Howard, who founded the world famous Santa School, as well as Christmas Park – a reindeer petting zoo, and very small amusement park which closed in the mid 1960s. Newly trained Santas were able to practice their skills at the park, which, at its peak, attracted 80,000 visitors per year, from around Western New York and the northeastern United States.
What is there now
The home still stands and is a private residence. Behind the home is what remains of Christmas Park.
- Christmas Park – 1963 – movie
- Charles W. Howard – official website
- Santa Claus Oath website
- Born in Albion, NY, June 15, 1896, Howard was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa Claus from 1948 – 1965. He died May 1, 1966 (buried at Mt. Albion Cemetery in Albion).
- There were only 3 rides in the park – a live pony ride, a miniature train (tunnel still stands – see photo gallery), and the Christmas Tree ride.
- In 1937, one could get a B.S.C. (Bachelor of Santa Claus) degree at the school for $75.
- News article
- Fond Memories of Santa
- December 1952 article
- A few additional tidbits about Howard
- Additional photos (copyright prohibits us from publishing in our slideshow)
- Excerpt from The Americans: The Democratic Experience
We would like to thank the following for helping us with this entry:
Susan Macpherson – vintage photos
Ruby and Jim Foote – vintage movie