Holidays: The Name’s the Same!

It appears there are a number of cities and towns in the US with holiday type names, so how about a little trivia where the name is the same when it comes to holidays?

The Star of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is easily visible 20 miles away
The Star of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is easily visible 20 miles away

Probably the most recognized Christmas related town name is Bethlehem, and in the US there are (reportedly) eight to 12. I’ve discovered 9 of them: Bethlehem, CT; Bethlehem, GA; Bethlehem, IN; Bethlehem, KY, Bethlehem, MD; Bethlehem, MS; Bethlehem, NH; Bethlehem, PA; Bethlehem, WV, with Bethlehem, PA being the most prominently known.

It was on Christmas eve in 1741, when a group of Moravians founded the mission community of Bethlehem, which proved to be a town for the future when in 1762 it built the “first-water works in America to pump water for public use.”

After the Civil War Bethlehem became a city, and a center for heavy industry and trade during the industrial revolution, thus Bethlehem Steel Corporation was founded, becoming the 2nd largest steel producer in the US, and was also one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world. Unfortunately they ceased their operations in 1995, after about 140 years of being in business.

Could it be the result of a grand ceremony on December 7, 1937, during the Great Depression, when the wife of Bethlehem Steel Corporation President, Charles F. Brown, flipped on the switch to turn on the new Christmas street lights and a large wooden star [that the city of Bethlehem still beckons visitors]? It was also at this time the Chamber of Commerce adopted the nickname ‘Christmas City, USA’. Today, that wooden star when lit up can be seen as far as Wind Gap, 20 miles away.

Bethlehem is also home to three large universities, including Lehigh University, and Money Magazine listed it at number 88 out of 100 ‘best cities to live’ . . .

Arizona Inn dressed up for the holidays is located in Christmas, Arizona
Arizona Inn dressed up for the holidays is located in Christmas, Arizona
Who would have thought: a town named Christmas in Arizona, and while you might have wondered about Christmas green; there are cactus that color, or if it snows in the desert; well, consider that the Sunrise Ski Resort is at Baldy Park, rising upwards to 11,403 feet, so you can pretty much be assured of a white Christmas. Christmas, Arizona is a ghost town now, but when created on Christmas Day in 1902, it was all about staking a claim for a couple of copper mines. A side note: According to http://www.nsaa.org/press/industry-stats/ there were 9.67 million skiers and snowboarders from 1996/97 to 2012/13, and December (including the holidays) appears to be one of the more popular months to ski and snowboard.

Santa Claus, Georgia, located in Toombs County, does not have the notoriety of its nearby neighbor, Vidalia (gaining world-wide attention due to its agricultural phenomena, the Vidalia Onion), it never the less shares its novel holiday name with Santa Claus, Indiana, and Santa Claus, Arizona. Santa Claus, Georgia takes its namesake seriously though, with streets named Rudolph, Candy Cane Lane and Dancer and Prancer as well. This small town was incorporated in 1941 and reported 165 residents at last count.

Pictured is one of a few derelict buildings in the ghost town of Humbug, Arizona
Pictured is one of a few derelict buildings in the ghost town of Humbug, Arizona
Ol’ Scrooge himself would be proud to hail from Humbug, located in Yavapai County in Arizona, especially knowing that ‘placer’ gold was discovered in the early 1870’s. Humbug is now a ghost town, but some of the buildings are still standing today and visitors are invited “anytime” . . .

Eggnog UtahThere are many more cities with Christmas and holiday names; such as Tannebaum, Snowflake, Mistletoe, Angletown, Wiseman, North Pole and Pumpkintown; however, I’m ending this blog with another blog about Eggnog, Utah which is pretty entertaining and informative in itself.
http://www.podunkthebook.com/eggnog-utah.html

This will be the last blog for 2013, so this blogger wishes to extend the very merriest of holidays, no matter what holiday you celebrate, and my hope is that 2014 will be better, happier, healthier, more peaceful world-wide and a banner year for all.

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