North Pole, New York

North Pole, New York
Santa's Workshop, North Pole, New York

North Pole is a small hamlet located in the town of Wilmington, Essex County, New York in the Adirondack Mountains.



This tiny hamlet is situated in Adirondack Park at the northern edge of Essex County (44°18′N 74°00′W / 44.3°N 74°W / 44.3; -74) near Whiteface Mountain, 12 miles (19 km) from Lake Placid, New York and approximately 30 miles (48 km) from Plattsburgh, New York.

North Pole is touted as one of the best places in the Northeast for those who love a white Christmas, with historical weather data gathered at nearby Tupper Lake, New York every year since 1948 claiming a 96% chance of any amount of snow for the holiday.


The United States Census Bureau did not report any separate figures for North Pole in 2000, instead treating it as part of a larger area including Lake Placid, NY. Of a total of 8,098 people in the region, 1,444 are under 18, 1,072 are age 65 or over, 87% are White and 10.7% are African American.

North Pole does not have its own bank, school, library, fire department, newspaper, police station or community organizations and most local businesses have closed their doors. North Pole has a small community postal station at 201 Main St, which is open only on a seasonal basis.


Burlington/Plattsburgh-market NBC affiliate WPTZ (channel 5) was licensed to North Pole at the time of its sign-on (as WIRI) in 1954. In 1999 the station petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to reallocate its broadcast frequency (now on digital channel 14) to Plattsburgh, on the grounds that the hamlet has always been small and continues to lose population, with four houses remaining near North Pole's main crossroads.

While the station's studios were built on Television Drive in Plattsburgh, that lakeside city is low-lying ground relative to the surrounding Adirondack Mountains. The station's analogue broadcast transmitter had therefore been situated upon a mountaintop near North Pole, operating from this location until 2009. While WPTZ's digital UHF TV transmitter facilities are now located atop Mount Mansfield in Vermont, alongside WCAX-TV and other broadcasters in the region, the station's license (and therefore the on-air station ID) remained in North Pole until January 5, 2011, when the FCC approved WPTZ's request and formally moved its license to Plattsburgh.[1]


Santa's Workshop on Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway, Route 431, is the North Pole hamlet's main attraction.

Open from mid-June onward, it bills itself as the oldest theme park in the United States, featuring Santa at the North Pole with live reindeer and a traditional Christmas theme with the North Pole post office (ZIP code 12997) serving as a fine place to mail holiday greetings.

Created in 1949 with costumed characters, a frosty "north pole" ice column and a small menagerie which may well be the first petting zoo, Santa's Workshop in North Pole was ahead of its time and spawned many imitators. Originally built on the road to Whiteface Mountain by a Lake Placid businessman whose daughter had desperately wanted to see Santa's house, it caught the eye of planners designing an entire generation of theme parks, including the first Disney parks (designed in the 1950s).


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Coordinates: 44°24′N 73°51′W / 44.4°N 73.85°W / 44.4; -73.85

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