Throwback Thursday

During this month back in 1959, Bangor’s most recognized landmark was prominently installed on Main Street in front of the then new Auditorium and Civic Center. Standing 37 feet tall and weighing over a ton, this legendary folk hero looked proudly upon the Queen City as the landscape surrounding him has changed over the last 55 years. For this week’s Throwback Thursday we take a look back at the making of the world famous Paul Bunyan Statue.
During the 1800’s Bangor was the logging capital of the world sending trees from the North Woods of Maine to Europe, Asia, and beyond. It was not uncommon to see the Penobscot River filled with so many timbers that you could walk from Bangor to Brewer without getting your feet wet. As time went by the logging industry moved on from Maine, heading to the Midwest and then to the Pacific Northwest. Even with just a handful of mills remaining in the area, Bangor and the lumber industry will always have their histories tied together.
As the city was approaching it’s 125th birthday back in 1959 community leaders wanted to include a monument that would leave a reminder of the city’s rich lumber history. A committee suggested that a statue of Paul Bunyan be erected as a tribute to Bangor’s logging past and as a way to bring tourists to the waterfront area. The initial design was made out of clay and stood just 22 inches tall (as shown above), but would then be scaled up to the 37 foot tall statue we know today.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Bangor Daily News

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