As the mythical hero of lumberjack camps nationwide, many Paul Bunyan statues dot roadsides across the U.S. But there is one that stands out among the pack. The boxy Bunyan in Bemidji, Minnesota is rumored to be the first in the nation. The 18-ft.-tall, 2.5-ton shrine, erected in 1937, honors the mythic man who became a symbol of strength and vitality from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin to the Western frontier. And what Bunyan statue would be complete without his trusty sidekick Babe the Blue Ox? Babe joined Paul in Bemidji in 1939 after an illustrious career as a traveling carnival star.
Bemidji claims to be the Paul's birthplace, a fact that of course can not be verified as the giant lumberjack lived only in folk tales and advertising campaigns.