Uncle Dan Campbell Statue
Big Falls, Minnesota
Minnesota froths with its towering statues of animals, pioneers and folk heroes. Uncle Dan Campbell pokes out from the surrounding foam even though his monument isn't particularly tall, and it isn't well explained on site. He's a wooden enigma with a funny name. Good enough for us.
Uncle Dan Campbell was a Scottish railroad laborer and the first white settler in these parts back in 1877. That's all that the big sign next to his statue reveals.
He is carved from a tree trunk, which means that the rifle that he holds in his right hand is unnaturally pointed straight upward. He has a thick hermit's beard and baby-blue eyes, and carries a pair of snowshoes in his left hand. On his shoulder is perched a bald eagle, possibly his faithful companion, or perhaps its just the safest place to be with Dan's rifle targeting the clouds. Artist Terry Boquist left the stump of the trunk as the base of the 12 ft. tall statue, which means that Uncle Dan has no feet.
Like all hand-carved wood statues, this one makes its subject look a little bit crazy -- which, for all we know, may have been true of Uncle Dan Campbell.