Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Postcard: The helter skelter at Santa's Workshop in Colorado

This postcard, postmarked in 1972, shows off the Santa's Workshop village and children's amusement park, which is located near the base of Pikes Peak, Colorado, and has been in operation since the summer of 1956.

The card was mailed in October 1972 to an address in Baltimore, Maryland, with this note:
Hi Dear,
We made it to the North Pole. Amy & I came down Santa's Giant Slide twice & she rode everything in sight. Santa was a big hit c̅ her too.
1 We took lots of pictures — Amy feeding the reindeer & all — but the day was cold & cloudy so I don't know how they may turn out.
Me & Amy
Didn't even get to see Pikes Peak from clouds
The Santa's Workshop in Colorado was modeled after the Santa's Workshop in North Pole, New York, which has been in operation since 1949.

You can read all about the Colorado attraction on its website. The ride featured in the center of this postcard is still there. The park refers to it as the "Peppermint Slide" on its website, and the 1972 postcard refers to it as "Santa's Giant Slide."

The spiral slide around the outside of a high tower is an uncommon U.S. example of a ride called a "helter skelter" in Britain. The name "helter skelter' dates to about 1905 in the UK and, yes, it inspired the song by the Beatles.

If anyone has been to the Santa's Workshop in Colorado (or in New York), share your thoughts and memories in the comments section.

1. Yes, that's exactly what's written on the postcard: "Santa was a big hit c̅ her too." The letter C with the line over it is a shorthand abbreviation for "with" that is most commonly used by doctors when writing prescriptions. So it's possible this postcard writer was a doctor.

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