North Pole on the west end
North Pole on the west end
By LISA BOWERS
Journal Staff Writer
MARQUETTE – Western Marquette County has its very own link to the North Pole, where children can mail letters to Santa himself, at the home of Doug and Sue Pearson.
The couple go out of their way to brighten the lives of children young and old during the holiday season.
The Pearsons’ home, including the entire front and back yard and two garages, is lit up in a way that can only be described as magical.
Pearson said he has been creating light displays at his home eight miles south of Ishpeming at 30 Twin Pines Circle for decades, ever since his own children were young.
Thousands of lights dot the landscape, with something colorful and different everywhere you look.
“I add a piece or two every year,” Pearson said. “I have never counted how many lights or how many pieces, that’s not why I do it.”
Pearson said the job of putting up so many lights and decorations takes him a little over a month because he does the whole job himself.
One of the new additions to the display is Santa’s Mailbox. Pearson said they put the mailbox into the display so local kids feel they have a direct link to Santa.
“They can put letters in, and we can guarantee if they tell Santa where they are, they will get a letter back,” Pearson said.
Pearson also makes sure music can be heard throughout the display, and even added a walking path up to his back yard so visitors will not hesitate to take in the whole display.
Pearson said he keeps the lights up until around Jan. 10, when he starts to dismantle the displays and put them away.
“I’ve got this garage here, I have shelves all across the front, all across the back. I’ve got 70 feet of shelving just for the figures. A lot of the trees stay full so I have to store them that way. They take up a lot of room,” Pearson said.
He said he loves celebrating the season by putting up the lights even though it takes a lot of work.
“I just get great satisfaction out of it, when you see a car stop and everything, you can tell it makes kids happy and that makes you feel good,” Pearson said.
Sue Pearson gives away candy canes to all children who visit the display, and loves to see the letters come in.
“We got three letters last night,” she said. “But none of them had return addresses, and Santa needs that to send a letter back by mail.”
The Pearsons are also longtime Cheer Club donors. They visit the Ishpeming Mining Journal office every year with a generous donation of toys.
“We added the Cheer Club to the list of places we donate the first year the club started, I think,” Doug Pearson said. “We know it gives the kids a better Christmas, that’s why we do it.”
The Pearsons said they would like more children to visit their display and put their letters into Santa’s special mailbox.
“I don’t know how many kids have come out, but I know cars stop. There are only a few that have put letters in the mailbox because it’s new this year,” Doug Pearson said.
The Mining Journal Cheer Club is still accepting new unwrapped toys and other gifts for children age infant to 14 years old. The gifts can be dropped off at the Journal offices in Marquette and Ishpeming, Salvation Army locations in Marquette and Ishpeming and St. Vincent De Paul of Marquette.
Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.