Paul Bunyan in popular culture

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Since the folkloric hero Paul Bunyan's first major appearance in print, the character has been utilized to promote a variety of products, locations, and services. The giant lumberjack's mass appeal has led him to become a recurring figure in entertainment and marketing, appearing in various incarnations throughout popular culture.

Popular culture[edit]

Tourist attractions[edit]

30-foot (9 m) tall statue of Babe the Blue Ox at Trees of Mystery, Klamath, California.
  • The state of Michigan has declared Oscoda, Michigan, as the official home of Paul Bunyan because it had the earliest documented published stories by MacGillivray. Other towns such as Bemidji, Brainerd, Shelton, Westwoo; Bay City; Wahoo; Eau Claire; and Bangor also claim the title.
  • Kelliher, Minnesota, is the home of Paul Bunyan Memorial Park, which contains a site purporting to be Paul Bunyan's grave. Another legend claims that Rib Mountain in Wausau, Wisconsin, is Bunyan's grave site.
  • The Paul Bunyan Council of the Boy Scouts of America was active in Midland, Michigan, from 1951 to 1971 and two Order of the Arrow lodges have their original roots tied into the fable of Paul Bunyan. OA Lodge 196, Mesabi, from Hibbing, Minnesota, used Paul Bunyan as its lodge totem from 1941 to 1995. OA Lodge 26, Blue Ox, from Rochester, Minnesota, has used the Blue Ox exclusively as its lodge totem and on nearly all patches and neckerchiefs since 1927.
  • The most famous statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox are in Bemidji, Minnesota, and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Paul Bunyan Land, a popular amusement park 7 miles (11 km) east of Brainerd, Minnesota, features a talking statue of Paul with a statue of Babe. Previously located in Baxter, the original Paul Bunyan Land park closed in 2003 to make room for new commercial development. The moving, talking, seated Paul Bunyan was then moved east of Brainerd to its current location at This Old Farm.
  • Trees of Mystery, a roadside attraction in Klamath, California, features a 49 ft (15 m) tall statue of Bunyan and a 35 ft (10 m) tall statue of Babe. In November 2007 the statue of Babe's head fell off due to rain and old, rotted materials giving way. It has since been repaired.[1]
  • Bunyan is depicted on the world's largest wood carving, at the entrance to Sequoia National Park in California.
  • There are 30-foot-tall (9.1 m) Paul Bunyan statues at Paul Bunyan's Northwoods Cook Shanty locations in Minocqua, Wisconsin, and in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
  • Two college football trophies have a connection to the legendary lumberjack. The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and University of Wisconsin Badgers have played for Paul Bunyan's Axe since the 1940s.
  • The unincorporated town of Union Lake, Michigan, previously held an annual Paul Bunyan Festival every year in July. The festival was sponsored and run by several local charitable and civic groups, including the Jaycees and the Chamber of Commerce, but was discontinued in the 1990s.[citation needed]
  • Hackensack, Minnesota is said to be the home of Lucette, Paul Bunyan's sweetheart. The park downtown has the statue of Lucette and their son, Paul Jr.
  • The character of Paul Bunyan features prominently in Jon Ludwig's Paul Bunyan & the Tall Tale Medicine Show at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia[2]
  • The City of Fort Bragg, California, has been celebrating "Paul Bunyan Days" since 1939. Taking place on Labor Day Weekend, it includes rock shows, ugly dog contests, tricycle races, a logging show, and a Labor Day Parade.
  • There is a big statue of Paul Bunyan in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.
  • The Log Chute flume ride (formerly known as 'Paul Bunyan's Log Chute') at the Nickelodeon Universe Park (formerly Knott's Camp Snoopy) at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, features large animatronic Paul Bunyan and Babe statues, as well as associated characters from the legends.
  • There is a statue of Paul Bunyan holding a Hot Dog in Atlanta, Illinois. Although originally he held an axe, the axe was replaced with the hot dog due to its use as a symbol for Bunyon's restaurant in Cicero, Illinois.[3] The statue was moved to Atlanta, Illinois, when the restaurant closed down in 2003.


  1. ^ "Klamath tourist attraction loses its head - Times-Standard Online". Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  2. ^ "Center for Puppetry Arts - Performances". Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  3. ^ Dave Hoekstra (June 4, 2012). "Hot dog merchant who brought giant Paul Bunyan statue to Route 66 dead at 89". Chicago Sun-Times.