Dept 56 Snow VillagesDept 56 Snow Villages: Get a great deal on your favorite Snow Village or other Department 56 Original by starting your search here.**
The History of Department 56 - How it All Started.
A small group of friends met for dinner one Christmas evening at a tiny country inn snuggled in a peaceful river town. As they emerged around a bend, what they saw was an almost surreal, old fashioned village that had been decorated for the upcoming holidays. The Christmas lights twinkled and glowed across the newly fallen snow. Their conversation all evening was about Christmas memories and the feeling this small town had sparked. From this magic was born the idea for the lighted Christmas villages. This idea, in 1976, grew into reality as Dept. 56 was formed, and a series of six hand painted ceramic villages were introduced. Department 56 began as a retail floral company called Bachmans. This company used a numbering system corresponding to respective departments, and the number 56 was assigned to the wholesale gift imports division.
Today, these snow villages are sought out by collectors, investors, and just simply customers awed by the nostalgia, tradition and beauty of these Dept 56 contemporary and creative products. The headquarters of Dept 56 is now located in Eden Prairie, MN, and has become a leader of collectibles and giftware in the lines of lighted villages, snowbabies figurines, and extensive lines of home decorative and holiday products.
Department 56 - Through The Years
1976- Department 56 foundation is laid with the introduction of six lighted, ceramic buildings. The Original Snow Village® originates from these six premiere hand-crafted designs.
1979- Twelve new Snow Village designs are introduced by Dept 56, and the first Village accessories appear.
1984- The Dickens Village Series is released by Dept 56, and is designed to invoke the magic of Christmas in Victorian England.
1986- The Alpine Village Series and The New England Village Series are introduced by Department 56. Later in the same year, the Department 56 Snowbabies figurines are born.
1987- Department 56 continues to grow its line of products with the addition of the In The City Series, evoking the feeling of the hustle and bustle of Christmas .
1990- The North Pole Series establishes Santa Claus as a part of Dept 56 tradition.
1998- Another line of Department 56 history is made, with the introduction of Snow Village Halloween, and its Haunted Mansion. An extension of The North Pole Series called Elfland, is also introduced as a magical spot where elves live and play after Christmas.
2004- "Long life cordless lighting" (battery operated) is born into eight Department 56 lighted buildings. This eliminated the need for electric cords, and also the limitations set by vicinity of a power outlet.
2008- Snow Village Halloween celebrates a 10 Year anniversary, and Department 56 continues to create new collectible Village buildings and accessories, growing and becoming more popular with their collectibles every year.
**(Dept56snowvillages.com is not associated with Department 56, Inc. in any way.)