January – April 2008 History by Dave Lieberth
The Legend of Akron's Blue Santa - Rare St. Nick figure dates to 1890s
Like Harry Truman's admonition, "There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know" So, here's some history I'm sure you didn't know: The story of Akron's very own Santa Claus, the "Blue Santa."
Let's begin with the story of Christmas in Akron, which really wasn't the "Christmas" we know today, until Akron's German immigrants brought their traditions with them in the late 19th century. They hung stockings by the fireplace, brought an evergreen tree inside to be decorated, and of course, they brought with them the legend of St. Nicholas, or "Father Christmas," or the elf we now call Santa Claus.
A search for manufactured figures of Santa reveals not much imagery before 1900 in the United States. "The oldest figurines we could find were from about 1900," says Michael Cohill, director of the American Toy Marble Museum at Lock 3. "These were paper-mache