MINNESOTA’S ANIMATED PAUL BUNYAN
Located at Brainerd, Minn., Paul is 36 feet tall and weighs 5,000 lbs. He talks, tells stories and sings lumberjack style. His size 44 cap shades his 16″ moveable eyes. His broad shoulders and 18 ft. arms are protected by a size 73 shirt, which consists of 60 yards of wool-plaid material. Paul wears a size 80 boot boot with soles 5 feet long.
BABE THE BLUE OX
Constructed in Kansas City, Mo. by Joe T. Bowen. Shipped in one piece by railroad flatcar over five railroads. Weight 3600 pounds, height 15 feet, length 23 feet, width between horn tips 10 feet.
The Paul Bunyan Center was located on Excelsior Lane in Brainerd, Minnesota, the Paul Bunyan capitol of the World.
The park, originally known as Paul Bunyan Center, was founded in 1950 in Baxter, Minnesota, by Sherm Levis. It was built around the statue of Paul that Levis and Roy Kuemicheal had purchased the previous year. The park grew over time to include over 40 rides.
The center closed in 2003 due to the high cost of upkeep. Luckily, the items were saved and shipped to a new area on the outskirts of Brainerd called This Old Farm/Paul Bunyan Land. Even the footprints of the Paul Statue were saved in the Kohl’s parking lot that now stands at the original site.
However, Paul Bunyan Land was re-opened, and according to their website:
In 2003 Paul Bunyan Amusement Center was relocated and moved 6 miles East of Brainerd (12 miles West of Garrison) on State Highway 18 due to technology, innovation and plain old industrial growth. Similar the story of Paul & Babe v. Steam Locomotive & Chainsaw, it was time for Paul and his trusted sidekick to move on. Kohls shopping center now resides in the original home of Paul Bunyan Amusement Center. With a new name and much larger location (23 Acres), Paul Bunyan Land coupled with an existing attraction, This Old Farm Pioneer Village, to widen the appeal to all ages. The Pioneer Village is the largest one man collection of antiques from the late 1800s to early 1900s in Minnesota.
Special thanks to Electrospark for the wonderful photos from a family’s trip to Paul Bunyan Center in 1956.