Henry Ford and Santa Claus
December 12, 2012
Henry Ford enjoyed celebrating the Christmas season in many ways. He was known to give extravagant gifts to those close to him—he gave a brand new Ford automobile to Theodore Edison in 1915! But Ford was quite generous in other ways, as well.
In 1910, a log cabin was built on Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan property. Each year, Ford transformed the modest cabin into “Santa’s Workshop,” inviting local children to participate in a magical experience which included a sleigh, reindeer and their choice of any present they wished.
This Christmas custom was carried on for decades. After Henry Ford’s death in 1947, his wife Clara continued the tradition until she passed away in 1950.
Today, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates represent this classic Christmas motif by decorating areas of the Ford home in historically accurate Santa Claus décor. Visitors can view these decorations day or night, or, for an up-close look at the decorated homes, a special Holiday Nights Behind the Scenes tour is available. The tour is offered every Tuesday in December (except Christmas day) at 6:00pm. Call (239) 334-7419 for more information or to reserve your place.