Santa's chair returning to Holman building in Summerside

Nancy MacPhee
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SUMMERSIDE - A piece of Christmas nostalgia is returning home, to the Holman building.

And it has Santa tickled pink.

"It will be a whirlwind when Santa comes to town," said Kris Kringle himself.

The chair, where, for almost four decades, he sat and listened as countless youngsters revealed their heart's desire, is once again ready to welcome children and their Christmas wish lists.

The white high-backed handmade wooden chair was, along with Santa, the main attraction at Holman's department store's toy land.

"There is a little bit of magic in that chair," said George Dalton, with the Summerside and Area Historical Society.

Now, after an almost 30-year absence, the chair is back in the downtown building, the centrepiece of a special day at the Summerside Farmers' Market.

Roxann Poirier, the market's manager, said the chair got its first use again this year on Dec. 12.

Youngsters, along with their parents and even grandparents who, as children, may have sat on Santa's lap in the chair, had a chance to relive the memory.

The market will also be open on Wednesday, Dec. 23, from 4 to 7 p.m., with caroling, free hot chocolate and hot cider to help get everyone in the Christmas spirit which will also provide another opportunity for people to see the little piece of nostalgia.

There is a little bit of magic in that chair George Dalton

"It is just a nice way to say thank you to all our families for supporting our market all year," added Poirier.

"This was a golden opportunity to make it all about the spirit of Holman's Christmas, where old friends meet," said Dalton

After the store closed in the late 1980s, the chair disappeared, found a few years ago gathering cobwebs in a barn in Union Corner.

Dalton and historical society president, Peter Holman, rescued it and it has since been used by Holland College on their Downtown Summerside Santa Claus Parade.

"Every Christmas the toy department in the store, which used to be on the second floor, a section of it was set aside strictly for Santa Claus. Santa Claus was there every day," explained Holman. "Sometimes he was flown in by helicopter, depending on the weather, and he would come down through one of the openings in the roof."

The chair isn't the only piece of memorabilia that will be on display.

Accompanying it will be the mailbox that sat alongside it in Holman's toy land.

"Kids would write a letter and come and drop it in the box," added Holman.

Santa's chair and the vintage mailbox will remain at the market until Christmas.


Organizations: Holland College, Area Historical Society, Union Corner

Geographic location: Summerside

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