Santa Gnome – Garberville, CA


The Santa Gnome is located off of U.S. Highway 101 (aka, the “Redwood Highway”) about six miles south of Garberville, California.

The statue is located in a shady grove of trees next to the Legend of Bigfoot souvenir shop, a roadside attraction filled with hundreds of chain-saw carved statues and gift items, like wind chimes and whimsical lawn ornaments and statuary.

The most obvious wooden statue is one of Bigfoot, the legendary hairy creature of the Northwest who stands sentinel in front of the business. Tourist enjoy snuggling up to the wooden beast so they can take home a photograph of their visit to this quirky roadside attraction.


But, not far from the statue of Bigfoot, nestled in a grove of trees there is another large statue, this one made of fiberglass. It is called the Santa Gnome by some. To others, it is just one damned big gnome set atop a tree stump with an entrance at the base. Tourist young and old like to climb inside the opening just for fun. You can’t miss the Santa Gnome. He is just a few yards to the right of the ever important roadside restrooms.

According to one source, the Santa Gnome was originally located on Main Street at The Weekend Garden Nursery in Rio Nido, California. After the business closed, the gnome statue stayed on site keeping an eye on the property. But suddenly, the gnome statue disappeared.

Years later, a statue looking suspiciously like the Rio Nido one appeared at the Bigfoot attraction. Now this may or may not be the gnome from Rio Nido, but nonetheless, it still provides enjoyment for everyone who sees the jolly gnome.

On December 23, 2001, the Santa Gnome was featured in Zippy the Pinhead, a comic strip by Bill Griffith available online at the Seattlepi newspaper site.

In the four-panel strip, the Santa Gnome wishes Zippy “Happy Holidays” and Zippy replies, “What are you psychotic?” By the last panel, Santa Gnome divines that Zippy hasn’t even started his Christmas shopping and Zippy realizes there’s not much you can keep secret from Santa Gnome (whom Zippy calls “psycho-elf”).

Legend of Bigfoot
2500 Hwy US 101
Garberville, C 95542


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Thomasville, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Statues and Carvings

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