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Cinnamon Bear History

The Cinnamon Bear began his life in 1937 as a holiday radio program written by Glanville and Elizabeth Heisch. This 26 chapter series ran from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Each year, it became a ritual to listen to The Cinnamon Bear on the radio and count down the days to Christmas.

newspaper clipping from Oregonian with a picture of a bear and two children
The Oregonian, Thursday Nov. 23, 1967

The story follows Jimmy and Judy Barton as they search for the Silver Star for the top of their Christmas tree. The Cinnamon Bear takes them to Maybeland for their search. It seems the Crazy Quilt Dragon stole the star and ran off with it. On their journey they encounter a roster of enchanting characters.

Lipmans Cinnamon Bear Logo

Lipman Wolfe’s sponsored the radio broadcasts in Portland and the Cinnamon Bear took up residence at Lipman and Wolfe Stores at Christmas time from the 1940s – 1980s, just like Santa Claus. In fact, many children of Portland wrote their letters to Cinnamon Bear. The biggest prize in meeting the Cinnamon Bear in person was the cinnamon cookie. In the 1950s, Lipman’s presented Cinnamon Bear Breakfasts that were aimed at children and were musical performances.

Today the Cinnamon Bear makes appearances on the Portland Spirit along with his entire cast of friends that runs on weekends throughout the month of December. The Portland Spirit has even published a picture book depicting the adventure along with a line of products that children can take home to make this tradition a part of their family!