Can We Take a Second to Appreciate Bangor’s Paul Bunyan Statue?
I know it's silly to say, considering how large he is, but he often goes unnoticed.
Our Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor has become a part of the landscape, like oxygen—it's always been there, quietly watching over us.
Much like the skyline and its steeples of Bangor, the Paul Bunyan statue may be succumbing to the background of our daily lives. We might think, "Oh right, we do have a Paul Bunyan statue, don't we? It's pretty cool." But there's no need to guess; it's undeniably cool.
Bangor proudly claims Paul Bunyan as its own. While other towns and cities across the country lay claim to being his birthplace, we have the birth certificate to prove it. You can find it on display in the City Clerk's office at City Hall. According to the official document, Paul Bunyan was born on February 12, 1834.
At one point, though not currently, as far as I can tell, at the base of the statue, the following information about the statue was inscribed:
“This statue, reputed to be the largest of Paul Bunyon in the world, stands facing the Penobscot River. The legendary giant woodsman is a symbol of the great era in the late 1800s when Bangor, Maine was acclaimed to be ‘The Lumber Capitol of the World’ with sailing vessels crowding the river and loaded with lumber for shipment to seaports around the world.
The statue is 31 feet tall and weighs approximately 3700 pounds. It is internally braced with steel for the reinforced fiberglass construction. The cobblestone-faced concrete base has a time capsule sealed December 31st, 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 A.D.”
Also, from a certain angle, it looks like Paul is giving us the finger, and if that doesn't represent our New England charm, I don't know what does. In his song 'Homesick,' Noah Kahan said, 'I'm mean because I grew up in New England,' and Paul Bunyan is keeping that spirit alive.
You know the old saying, right? If you don't treat her right, someone else will. Well, the same principle applies to Paul. While there are other statues of our beloved lumberjack out there, this one is uniquely ours, and it's essential that we show our appreciation while we still have the chance.
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Gallery Credit: Cindy Campbell