Santa Claus Campground

One of the oldest UM campgrounds in Indiana is located at 16670 N. 625 E. near Santa Claus. Meetings were begun at the campground in 1851. Worshippers lived in "rough tents," and generally someone from each family had to go home every day to feed the livestock and bring back provisions for the family.

The first permanent tabernacle was built in 1884 for $50 and, having been restored and upgraded, is still standing and in use.

John H. Lukemeyer, a minister of the German M.E. Church, is credited with establishing the Santa Claus camp meeting. Sessions were held annually until 1955, when a local organization took over its management.

Nearby is the location of the parent church, the historic Santa Claus UMC, founded in 1849 by Rev, Christian Wyttenbach. (GPS: 38 07 26.97, -86 55 46.91). Another attraction in the area is Lincoln State Park containing Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home and the grave of his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln.

GPS of the campground: 38 07 40.27, -86 56 18.22

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