Wilsonville, Oregon: Statue of Gentle Ben

Along with Yogi and Boo Boo, Gentle Ben was one of the few bears to star in his own TV series.
SW Parkview Drive, Wilsonville, OR
Ben stands in the center of a small park in a housing subdivision, on the northwest corner of SW Parkview Drive and SW Orchard Drive.
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Gentle Ben statue. Statue of Gentle Ben

In 1965, author Walt Morey, who lived in Wilsonville, wrote the young adult novel "Gentle Ben," the story of a bear and his human pal in Alaska. Walt Disney bought the rights, moved the story to Florida, and turned Gentle Ben into a late 1960s TV series. When Morey died, his family donated land for a small park in his hometown. Its centerpiece is an eight-foot-tall, carved wood statue of Gentle Ben. The 500-pound bear sculpture was stolen by some teenage morons in 2012, but Ben was found in a ditch and quickly returned to the park.

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 08/13/2012]

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