Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Elf Hermey

Christmas village on auction block

Recommended Posts

Elf Hermey

Christmas village on auction block

Hub history for sale

Boston Herald

By Richard Weir

Thursday, May 14, 2009


For sale: 31 boys, 25 girls, 15 bears, two clerks, one Dalmation, three cats, two puppies, four musicians and one Santa.

After dazzling generations of kids whose parents took them on Christmas pilgrimages to the “Historic Enchanted Village,” the entire mechanical cast of Boston’s beloved attraction and all its Victorian-era props will be sold at a live auction June 18 to a single bidder.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday that the city is looking to find a good home for all the little village people and props - from shelves of authentic books, some from the 1890s, to jars of popping corn - and hopes that a Christmas-themed amusement park will buy the entire village and restore it to its former glory.

“I remember going as a boy with my parents,” Menino recalled. “But everything has its time and usefulness.”

The village was the brainchild of Jordan Marsh executive David Callahan, who in the 1930s commissioned Bavarian toymakers to craft what was once more than 300 electromechanical animated figures. Come Christmastime beginning in the 1940s, Jordan Marsh would set up the little New England town at its Downtown Crossing department store.

After Macy’s took over the chain, it gave the village to the city, which displayed the attraction under a tent at City Hall Plaza from 1998 to 2002 and then at the Hynes Convention Center for the next three years. But in 2006, the city pulled the plug on the storied tradition as attendance dropped from 166,752 visitors in 1998 to 43,804 in 2005 and revenue shriveled from $107,202 to $32,639 during that period.

Meanwhile, the costs to operate the village soared as it became harder to replace broken parts.

The city’s bidding adieu to the village made some longtime Bostonians a bit wistful yesterday. “It was really magical going in there as a young kid. We didn’t have money for Disneyland. So that was our Disneyland,” recalled state Rep. Brian Wallace.

The city will hold the live auction - it will also be shown live on the Web - at 11 a.m. June 18 at a warehouse at 3 Dolphin Way in South Boston. Anyone interested in viewing the pieces of the Enchanted Village before they are sold can visit the site from June 15-17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or take a virtual tour at www.paineauctioneers.com.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Santa Everett


Another victim of our economy and culture.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Rielly

Very sad. I wish I had the money to purchase it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Santa TJS

We used to go to Jordan Marsh when I was a kid to see that display .They had it in a tent in City hall plaza for a number of years after Jordans closed.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Donations

    All donations go directly towards the cost of hosting and running ClausNet!

    Your support, through donations or simply by clicking on sponsor links, is greatly appreciated!

    Donate Sidebar by DevFuse
  • Our picks

    • Every Once in A While
      Every once in a while I see some flagrant abuses of Santa’s appearance and etiquette. It strikes me some men don’t care about how they act or portray the beloved character of Santa.

      Gentlemen, you undertake an awesome responsibility when you button up your Santa Suit. Don’t take it lighty!

      The “World” has an image of Santa as represented by illustrations, traditions and personal contact. Believe it or not, you’re being measured by those who see you for your authenticity.

      You’re fooling yourself if you believe that no one notices or cares if your bead is yellow or unkempt. Maybe you’re also missing a few of those pearly whites, or they are stained from tobacco products. Again, don’t fool yourself….kids notice everything! I have a gold crown capping one of my lower teeth. Every once in a while, I have an inquisitive youngster question what that gold thing is in my mouth. Years ago I thought it was well hidden however; kids have uncanny radar to pick out any of our flaws….

      You may be asking yourself, “What difference does it make? “It’s not the Christmas Season.” Maybe it isn’t however, If you’re representing Santa, you’re representing one of the most recognizable characters in the world. What you do reflects upon me and every Santa reader of this article. If you’re going to be recognized then do justice to the character we are reenacting.

      Over the years I have been a Santa, I have frequently been by told by people about the Santa they hired or saw which left a very poor expression. Most of their comments were predictable. Their Santa did not interact with the children as expected or he was unprepared. He was unanimated, had a dirty suit or lack luster beard. Obviously these are sure fire ways never to be called to this group again.

      Think about what impression you make as a Santa and pay attention to developing your character. You can become one of the best Santas in your area by learning everything about your character and performing from the heart.

      Always remember: It's not about you. It's about the children.

      Santa Lou Knezevich is the creator of the Legendary Santas Mentoring Program
      Contact Santa Lou at: LegendarySantasMentoringProg@gmail.com
        • Love
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • If You Have the Post Christmas Blues You’re Doing Christmas Wrong
      The post-Christmas blues are a very real thing. Once the date of December 25th has passed the specter of December 26th is an ominous marker to many. It sits there on the calendar like the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come. Silent and foreboding, the very image of the hooded Angel of Death it seems to be. And why not?

      Just about anywhere you look Americans are tossing trees to the curb, ripping down lights from rooftops and radio stations are flipping back to everyday music. What took months to build gets deconstructed in a matter of a couple of days.
        • Like
      • 26 replies
    • Auld Lang Syne
      Every New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight, millions around the world traditionally gather together to sing the same song, “Auld Lang Syne”. As revilers mumble though the song’s versus, it often brings many of them to tears – regardless of the fact that most don’t know or even understand the lyrics. Confusion over the song’s lyrics is almost as much of a tradition as the song itself. Of course that rarely stops anyone from joining in.
        • Wow
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • Merry Christmas, My Friend
      Every year around this time, some variation of this poem is circulated online. The poem is generally credited to “a soldier stationed in Okinawa” or more recently since September 11, 2001, “a Marine stationed in Afghanistan”.

      However, the poem’s true author is Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt.

      Originally entitled, “Merry Christmas, My Friend”, Corporal Schmidt wrote the poem in 1986 while serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, in Washington, D.C.

      That day the poem was placed in the Marine Corps Gazette and distributed worldwide. Schmidt’s poem was later published in Leatherneck (Magazine of the Marines) in December 1991.
        • Sad
        • Love
        • Like
      • 1 reply
    • Is it time to start calling out Bad Santas?
      Is it time to start calling out Bad Santas?

      Do you think we should start calling out those in our community whose actions or behavior is unbecoming of Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus?
        • Wow
        • Like
      • 94 replies
About | Forums | Blogs | Newsletter | Contact

© 2019 MJR Group. LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Copyright IP Policy

Proud affiliate of My Merry Christmas!

Subscribe to the ClausNet Gazette

Enter your email address to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

About ClausNet

The ClausNet community is the largest social network and online resource for Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Elves, Reindeer Handlers, and Santa helpers for the purposes of sharing stories, advice, news, and information.
  • Create New...