Saturday, June 16, 2012

Paul Bunyan in Northern Minnesota

We have run into so much information regarding this legendary man that I figured it was about time I devote one of my posts to him. Some of Bunyan's legends I found in a brochure printed by Bemidji Chamber of Commerce. The legendary superman and woods man was born in Bemidiji.  It took 5 large storks, working overtime to deliver Paul to his parents. Northern Minnesota was the center of his many exploits and was Paul's Playground. At the Visitor's Center in Bemidiji is this statute of him. Inside the center are many memorabilia belonging to Paul. Such Bunyan- sized objects are his axe, boxer shorts, watch and gun.
Paul raised Babe from infancy, and it is said that Babe stamped around so much that his hoof prints filled with rainwater and created Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. In the town of Backus we learned about Colonel Cobber, a man who apparently introduced Babe and Paul to corn. Paul liked corn so much that in one day he could eat 100 of them. Working with the Colonel, Paul and Babe began planting corn. Babe was very helpful fertilizing the soil. The Colonel also employed E.W. Backus to help clear the land to plant the corn. The townspeople liked E.W. Backus so much that they changed the town's name from Cobber to Backus.
I hope you are paying attention to the irony of the names, because I have another interesting name to share with you. Paul Bunyan married Lucette Diana Kensack. We found her name in the town of Hackensack. I am not sure which came first, the legend of Lucette or the town's name. The statue of her was an Eagle Scout project, so maybe Lucette's last name was taken from the town's name- or maybe there is no connection at all.  By the way, this town claims to be the birthplace of Paul Junior.

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