The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


December 25, 2013

Local Santa restores 120-year-old sleigh

Man adds wheels, motor to mobilize carriage

ANDERSON, Ind. — With his long white hair and beard, jolly spirit and custom red suit, it’s easy to mistake Bill Wood as Saint Nicholas, and now the Anderson resident has the same mode of transportation.

Wood, who has dressed as Santa Claus since 2000, bought and restored an old Lull Carriage Co. sleigh after a friend found it on Craigslist in November 2012.

A year later, the sleigh has a new paint job, wheels and a motor. It wasn’t a hard decision for Wood to give it a modern upgrade.

“I don’t have a horse or reindeer,” he said. “To have something like this and have a horse for just one day a year, that (doesn’t) sound sensible.”

Instead, Wood took the wheels, motor and controller from a Quantum 600 power wheelchair to give it some modern mobility. His friend Craig Priest also helped with welding.

Before the modifications, the sleigh was already one of a kind. It has doors and three springs – unusual characteristics for a sleigh.

Wood called historians in Kalamazoo, Mich., where Lull Carriage was based, and said they didn’t know anything about the sleigh.

But Wood believes his carriage is the real deal because it has the company stamp on it. He estimates it to be about 120 years old based on when Lull Carriage was in operation.

His modifications will allow him to take the sleigh to Santa jobs, although health problems prevent him from working many. He’s also considered taking it to a car show.

But it doesn’t matter to Wood that he doesn’t have any definitive plans for the sleigh. It just contributes to his role as one of Santa’s helpers.

This year he made a little boy a believer when he showed him a picture of him and his sleigh. Throughout the years he’s worked hard to make countless children believe in Santa, including his own grandchildren.

Text Only
  • people_chapman.jpg Parole denied again for John Lennon’s killer

    John Lennon’s killer was denied release from prison in his eighth appearance before a parole board, correction officials said Friday.

    August 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA - HB0822 - PHHS band - DH - 001 PHHS marching band, Directors Jazz Orchestra to perform The Pendleton Heights High School Marching Arabians Band and Directors Jazz Orchestra are putting on a show for the community at 6 p.m. Sunday at Falls Park.

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • United Way wants community to pull together United Way of Madison County decided to encourage the community to pull together – literally.

    August 21, 2014

  • FEA - HB0821 - camera exhibit - DK - 016 Historical Society opens camera, photography exhibit Photos freeze moments in time to look back on, and now the public can catch a glimpse at how photographic technology has evolved.

    August 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • Historic barn tour and workshop Sept. 19 Across Indiana, barns of all ages and types have been successfully rehabilitated for modern farming and other uses. On Sept. 19, Indiana Landmarks offers BARN AGAIN!, a workshop to help owners maximize use of vintage barns.

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS - HB0817 - Elwood Glass - 016 Glass tours offer unique perspective Although many visitors to the Elwood Glass Festival go for the food, vendors and rides, they also have a unique opportunity to visit the glass factories that give the festival its name.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alex Grand Prix set for Aug. 23-24 The third annual Alexandria Grand Prix Street Race will be held Saturday and Sunday in downtown Alexandria.

    August 16, 2014

  • NWS - HB0816 - glass festival - 001 Glass Festival celebrates Elwood history With a snip from Mayor Ron Arnold's scissors and a performance by the Elwood High School marching band, the 43rd Elwood Glass Festival officially kicked off Friday.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0819 - Glass Festival file - DK - 01 43rd Elwood Festival kicks off today A new community mascot is just one thing to celebrate this weekend. The 43rd Annual Elwood Glass Festival runs today through Sunday, and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marcy Fry said there are plenty of new attractions for the decades-old event.

    August 15, 2014 5 Photos

  • Live music: Aug. 15 The following listings for live music and entertainment at area venues are published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 14, 2014