Our Story

History of Christmas Storybook Land

Over four decades of giving people of all ages something to enjoy during the Christmas season that is FREE and non-commercial.

The “Dream”

In 1976 Don Albright, an Albany resident, had a dream. That dream was shared with Gary Dahlinger and Terry Houdek and in 1977 the Albany community was able to view that dream for the first time.

That first year there were 15 scenes:

Old McDonald’s Farm
Little Bo Peep
Winnie the Pooh
Three Little Kittens
Three Little Pigs
The Nativity
Hansel & Gretel
Snoopy & Friends
Little Miss Muffet
Jack in the Beanstalk
Mickey & Friends
The Night Before Christmas
Hickory Dickory Dock
A Church with Carolers
Mary Had A Little Lamb & School House

Original founders, Don and Wilma Albright, pose at Teddy Bear Country—one of their favorite Christmas Storybook Land scenes which is sponsored by their entire family.

Original founder, Karen Dahlinger, was the chair of the Volunteer Refreshment Committee for many years keeping our volunteers happy with hot cocoa and apple cider at the event.

Head Greeters, Karen Dahlinger (front right) and daughter, Tami Chaput (in orange cap), visit with scene sponsors Matilda Novak and daughters from Novak’s Restaurant.

Don and Wilma Albright at Christmas Storybook Land Main Street next to the replica of Albany’s Whitespires United Presbyterian Church created by Wayne & Marge Parker.

Whitespires is a special place to Don and Wilma as they were married there June 10, 1962.

For the first few years a walking bear and other walking animals strolled the walkway and Santa greeted visitors while seated in a real sled. We have added many scenes—over 150 now—since those first years. Some of those original scenes may disappear, be updated and then reappear in a brand new way in a later season. Also new scenes are being added each year. So keep watching!
Since that 1977 beginning, Christmas Storybook Land has continued to survive and thrive with the help of hundreds of volunteers and businesses in our community who have given of their time and talents as well as donations of money and/or materials. Although our displays are FREE and non-commercial, we have encouraged canned food donations for the needy in our local communities. Over the years we have collected thousands of canned food items and commercially packaged foods that were given to FISH for distribution to those in need.

In 1980 Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of Oregon and Christmas Storybook Land was granted a non-profit organization status under section 501(c) (3) which exists to this day.

Ultimate Goal
Christmas Storybook Land’s originators had an ultimate goal, and it is still a goal—that sometime in the future we can have a permanent building of our own and can leave these scenes set up for year-around viewing.

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