Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

     It was 1936 when Bemidji’s civic organizations and businesses, searching to stimulate tourism, decided to sponsor a winter carnival to promote the city’s resources for winter sports. The carnival idea became a reality on January 14, 1937 but with a “unique” promotional twist– the unveiling of the giant concrete statues of Paul and Babe, designed to honor the town’s logging heritage by serving as mascots for the festivities.   
      The statues were designed and built by the Bemidji residents. Cyril M. Dickinson of the Dickinson Construction Co. was “the mastermind” behind the Bunyan figure (that looked suspiciously like then mayor, Earl Bucklen), while Jim Payton, manager of the local power company, supervised construction of Babe.
     737 man-hours went into the construction of Paul. Designed to withstand high velocity winds, the statue was constructed using a wood framework above footings over which reinforcing bars formed the towering shape. The footings, reinforced with heavy steel, continue up through the legs of the statue, with heavy steel laths over the reinforcing bars and cement stucco atop. Upon completion, Mr. Dickinson furnished the following statistics:
Concrete footings to water level: 5 1/2 tons
Weight of statue above footings: 2 1/2 tons
Height of statue: 18 feet

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Latitude: 47.473035 Longitude: -94.878497 Elevation: 1341 ft
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