The Legend of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

As some stories go, the idea of building a giant statue of the town’s lumberjack son was conceived over sharing a pint (or two). 737 man hours, and 2.5 tons later, a national tourism legend was proudly born. After more than 50 years of towering Lake Bemidji, the statues were officially honored by the National Parks Service as a cultural resource worthy of preservation, adding them to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox are recognized as the second most photographed roadside attraction in the nation.

Built in 1937, Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox Babe stand along the shore of Lake Bemidji near the Tourist Information Center. True to their Bemidji roots, this larger than life duo were known to work hard and play harder! Evidence of the legendary adventures of Paul Bunyan and Babe are found throughout the community and region. Some of these tall tales, still favored stories around northwood campfires. To this day, thousands of visitors come to see and be photographed with the legendary Paul and Babe.

At the Tourist Information Center, you will find photos, artifacts and more regarding our famous duo!