Bangor Maine is where this towering big guy known as Paul Bunyan was born. Everyone knows that despite all those other lesser places that would like to claim him. Paul Bunyan is from Bangor only and this is where the capital of the lumbering industry was born. His home was also known as the Queen City.
Any other place can erect a statue if they want to tell a tale or two. Only Bangor produced him right here in this neck of the woods.
Bangor’s Paul Bunyan, “Reputed to be the largest statue of Paul Bunyan in the world,” according to its sign, stands on a stone pedestal in front of the Bangor Civic Center in Bass Park. The statue is 31 feet high and weighs 3,700 pounds, not including its double-sided ax and lumberjack’s peavey.
Yes, the statue used to have a wooden sign and this is what it said after the above information was stated. It went on to say it faced the Penobscot River. It still does but the Hollywood Casino sort of blocks out the big guy. Paul’s view and the Cross Center behind him makes him feel a little closed in. Also the center may have not liked his ageing sign. I’m not sure when it came down.The sign also said that the statue is internally braced with steel for the reinforced fiberglass construction. The cobblestone faced concrete base has a time capsule sealed Dec. 31 1959. It contains documented records of Bangor’s 125th Anniversary observance and other articles of historic significance. The capsule is scheduled for removal on Bangor’s 250th Anniversary, February 12, 2084. It told of the idea for the statue and who sculpted it. This was done by J Normand Martin of Bangor and it was built and erected by Messmore and Damon of NYC. The cost in 1959 was $20,000 and paid for by civic minded individuals.
I’ve often wondered why Bangor decided to claim Paul but forgot that Chewing Gum and the Brownie were also first made in town. Yes Paul Bunyan is great but Bangor could claim other things too. Maybe we do not want to claim a military disaster like the Penobscot Expedition that ended in our part of the river. It was the worst Navy disaster for 162 years of American history. Who wants to claim that. Now, the lumber capital of the world is more appealing. Stephen King has brought much credit our way and we have had many political and sports figures and a famous Mt Hope with monuments galore. There is still more of course. We’ll keep Paul too.
So much for the view of the Penobscot River as the old sign used to say.