Monday, December 7, 2009

SNOWMAN buttons

Who made the first snowman? Where did it originate? How was it propagated?
It's a well-documented fact that very first snowman was made in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on January 7, 1809 by a Mr. Vernon N. Paul and his nine-year-old daughter, little Yetty Paul. According to Mr. Paul, he told his daughter that the snowman was intended to frighten away the Boxing Day elves. (Popular legend said Boxing Day Elves reclaimed Christmas presents.) Once the Paul family's neighbors saw the snowman, and little Yetty explained to her friends how easy it was to make (and no doubt, how effective it was at keeping the Boxing Day elves away), children all over the town were making snowmen. Word soon spread and the New York Times dispatched a writer named Hillary Sherpa to check out rumors of a town populated by snowmen. Of course, she found that Eau Claire was not really populated by snow people, but instead, effigies of people, made of snow, "seemed to virtually populate every corner of the town." According to the Ms. Sherpa's article, even though the snowmen and snowwomen "had an appearance bordering on abysmal, indeed abominable, even" the trend caught on and soon spread nationwide by the eve of the Civil War. When war broke out in South Carolina in 1861, the Times of London (and a host of other international newspapers and news reporting agencies, including Berlin's leading newspaper, Der Kruller) came to the US to report on the war. The TRime os London actually was the first international newspaper to pick up a story on the tradition of snowmen, more as a human interst story than anything else. And as they say, "the rest is history."

P.S. I found the above information at google. I personally think the first snowman wasn't recorded.


  1. You've always been a great reseacher
    Peg, and this is such a quaint story
    for the times. I can't wait to tell
    my grandchildren this weekend when
    I visit them out of town...something
    new for Nana to intrigue them with
    at Christmas. What a delight...
    and so are the buttons you have posted for us to see.

  2. I've been trying to get to the bottom of this particular urban myth. Could you please post the complete URL of your NY Times source?

    Here's some actual research on the origins of snowmen:

  3. I see now, why I don't use Blogger. They don't want us to share research URLs. Let's see if I can work around it:

    Snowman research

  4. downstrike I think I typed in snowmen or snowman at google and the above is all I came up with