The Herald Bulletin

Morning 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
  • Miss America: Rethink suspension over prom query

    Miss America is asking a Pennsylvania school district to reconsider the punishment of a high school senior who asked her to prom during the question-and-answer portion of an assembly.

    April 20, 2014

  • NWS - HB0421 - easter sunday4 - sh Mounds State Park at Easter part of long family tradition

    Many Madison County residents woke early on Sunday to attend Easter services. David Long was among them, only his sanctuary was the Woodland Shelter at Mounds State Park.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • FEA HB0421 Silent Movie 1 Acting without words Nineteen area students will take a walk down the red carpet Tuesday evening as their film projects premiere at the Paramount Theatre during the WRC Silent Film Festival.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mounds State Park hosts birding weekend featuring live hawk Mounds State Park will go to the birds April 25-27 as the park hosts “Bird the Mounds.”

    April 19, 2014

  • 14th annual dog walkathon at Shadyside Park The Madison County Humane Society will host its 14th annual dog walkathon on Saturday, May 3. The walk will be at Shadyside Park between 8 a.m. and noon (rain or shine.

    April 19, 2014

  • Liberty Christian makes changes to annual auction Liberty Christian School is upping the ante for its upcoming Duck-Tacular event. The school’s annual benefit auction is steering away from past forest themes to “Duck-Tacular,” a nod to the popular A&E show “Duck Dynasty.”

    April 18, 2014

  • FEA HB0418 LITTLE BIG TOWN Kathy Griffin to perform at Hoosier Park Emmy and Grammy winner Kathy Griffin will dish about her latest run-ins with celebrities and observations about Hollywood’s elite and popular culture in the Terrace Showroom when she brings her stand-up act to Anderson on April 26.

    April 17, 2014 4 Photos

  • Jazz night comes to Paramount Hopkins and Miller’s Sunset Stomp Jazz Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Paramount. The performance is one of the first events for the 27th Annual City of Anderson Little 500 Festival schedule.

    April 17, 2014

  • Weekend Calendar: April 18 Entertainment scheduled at area venues for April 18-20.

    April 17, 2014

  • Live music: April 18 The following listings for live music and other entertainment at area venues are published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 17, 2014