Bentleyville, Pennsylvania: Big Jim, Metal Cowboy

A well-built gunslinger statue, 20 feet tall, with an impressively long barrel on his six-shooter. Defends a hotel.
Address:
101 Gosai Dr., Bentleyville, PA
Directions:
Outside the Best Western. I-70 exit 32-B, drive south, then make a quick left onto Gosai Drive.
Phone:
724-239-4321
RA Rates:
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Metal Cowboy - Big Jim. Big Jim, Metal Cowboy

A 3.5-ton steel cowboy statue is available on eBay. This 20-foot-tall steel (fabricated and found material) work of art has stood guard outside the town of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, in Speers Borough, since its completion in 1978. Seven years ago a family welding business closed its doors forever and now with the sale of the property on which "Big Jim" stands, this unique, heart-stopping piece of local history is available.

This statue was entirely handmade by artist James C. Krutz, Sr. His neckerchief is made of a yard-wide swath of steel, hand-formed to resemble folds of cloth. Hand-cut fringe borders the buckskin jacket and the wide-brimmed 10-gallon hat with its turned up edges. An eagle watch fob that dangles on a chain between the pockets on the buckskin jacket once sat atop an old stove in an antique shop. Each of Big Jim's boots are 31 inches long and 8 inches wide, formed from a split water pipe. A replica six-shooter is in Big Jim's right hand, and on his left side a flintlock muzzle-loader.

Some painting work will be necessary, or the new owner may wish to sandblast the sculpture back to its bare metal. As an interim design change, the original glass eyes were removed and more realistic eyes hand-painted. The original glass eyes are available and included in the auction.

[Melissa Farris, 03/24/2007]

April 2007: Big Jim's owners nixed their eBay auction and instead are donating the 20 ft. tall statue to the borough of Charleroi to be displayed in town. April 2008: The town couldn't afford the liability insurance needed for a giant metal cowboy, so Big Jim was purchased by a hotel owner and moved to nearby Bentleyville.

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October 21, 2014

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