An American-made roadside attraction

Posted by LDonia on 09/11/2013

Visitors to Portland, Oregon may be surprised to be greeted by a roadside 31-foot tall Paul Bunyan statue. Certainly, in its more than half-century of existence, it's raised some questions for tourists and locals alike.

And while we can't answer everything, we can tell you this much: It is, indeed, Made in America.

There may be another obvious question on your mind: "But why was this totally boss Paul Bunyan statue built?" Well, we've got the answer to that too.

According to a 2009 article from the Oregonian (when the statue was added to the National Register of Historic Places) it was commissioned by a neighborhood business group to greet the millions of visitors to the state's 1959 Centennial Exposition. It went up right alongside Interstate Avenue, which was a main gateway into Portland at the time. 

The article goes on to quote historian Ian Johnson:

'People were really proud of it...Paul Bunyan was a really popular figure at the time. Even though Paul Bunyan is a Minnesota legend, it made sense to folks out here because the timber industry was really important in Oregon.'

And there you have it: one full week of American-made trivia. Here's to three more!

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