New Santa House coming to downtown Auburn

Remember the Santa House, once a beloved feature of Christmas seasons past in downtown Auburn?

Well, the Auburn Cooperative is bringing it back. OK, not exactly the same one. A new one.

“We are working in partnership with the Auburn Noon Lions that will be helping us build it,” Cheryl Rakes, executive director of the Auburn Cooperative, said in a press release.

Rakes said that the materials have already been bought and construction began at 10 a.m. Aug. 6 at the home of Kristi and Bill (Billy Jack) Newman in the 500 block of a A Street Northeast. The Newmans are the owners of Rail Hop’n Brewery on West Main Street.

“We are so excited to bring back some nostalgia to Auburn and something everyone remembers. It will be a perfect addition to the holiday season this year,” Rakes said.

Bill Newman noted that their home was Rakes’ childhood home, and she is his wife Kristi’s mother.

“All her childhood she remembered going to Santa Claus’ house and getting her picture taken with Santa,” Newman said of Rakes. “At some point, that Santa House disappeared, and people found out that at some point it was sold to some city in Oregon. And part of trying to develop more stuff for our community downtown, to bring awareness to all our businesses downtown, is to get people down here. You get foot traffic down here, they realize there’s businesses down here that weren’t here 10, 20 years ago, or the last time they were down here, and it’s occuring to them to come down here more often and experience what downtown Auburn has. And part of that is to bring back the Santa Claus House.”

If any business or resident would like to help sponsor construction, Rakes said, they may contact the Downtown Auburn Cooperative at

“Every little bit helps, and will make a great addition to Downtown Auburn,” Rakes said, adding that anyone who sponsors the Santa house will see their name added to a plaque, which will be installed on the side of the Santa House.