The new house is intended to be a location where Santa can meet with local boys and girls in the weekends leading up to Christmas, according to Dena Ellis of the HHMC.

Just as Mark Twain will forever be linked to Hannibal, who can think of Santa Claus and not have images of the frozen North Pole come to mind. Soon, however, the jolly old elf will be associated with America’s Hometown, thanks to the efforts of the Historic Hannibal Marketing Council (HHMC), which is planning to have a house built for Santa on North Main Street.

The new house is intended to be a location where Santa can meet with local boys and girls in the weekends leading up to Christmas, according to Dena Ellis of the HHMC.

“The Historic Hannibal Marketing Council puts on the Victorian Festival of Christmas each year which spans a total of four weeks. Each year we have Santa available each Saturday, and each year we struggle to find a location to house him,” she said.

The concept of having a designated house for Santa in downtown Hannibal is not a new one.

“Many of us remember the Santa house that was at one point located in the middle of Broadway near the Main Street intersection, and later, in Central Park,” said Ellis. “Those of us on the HHMC are excited to be bringing back a bit of our childhood by once again having a Santa house in the downtown.”

The Santa house will be placed on a lot at the corner of North Main Street and Hill Street, which is an area that is maintained by the Mark Twain Museum.

It is anticipated that the house will be a one-story structure, whose dimensions will be approximately 12 feet by 18 feet.

“It will be left there throughout the year,” said Ellis. “However, it will not be a permanent structure and can be moved to other locations if needed elsewhere.”

According to Ellis, the house will not be an empty shell.

“It will be finished on the inside and an electric fireplace will be installed for heat, as well as ambiance,” she said. “There will be functioning windows that will make it possible to also use it as a vendor booth for the many festivals held by the HHMC.”

While traditionally decorated for the Christmas holiday season, the Santa house’s decorations won’t remain up the year-round.

“Christmas decorations on the building are going to be made so that they can be removed after the season,” said Ellis, adding that decorations on the building will be changed on a seasonal basis.

While the HHMC is investing $4,000 in the project, some labor and materials will be contributed at no charge, reports Ellis.

“I talked to the museum’s board president, Mike McKay, and our buildings and grounds supervisor, Chuck Rickey, and they have both agreed to volunteer their labor to build the house as has a third volunteer, Andrew Wikstrom,” she said. “Two of the local building supply companies, the Hannibal Home Store and Lowe’s, have offered to donate building materials.”

Construction is expected to begin at some point during the month of May, after the museum’s buildings and grounds personnel finish up their work at Grant’s Drug Store.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com