Bunyan and Babe.

1940s Paul Bunyan and Babe

Field review by the editors.

Ossineke, Michigan

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox were built out of colorful concrete in the 1940s by Paul N. Domke (1886-1981), who also built the giant creatures at the nearby Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo. According to the back of an old postcard, Bunyan is 25.5 feet tall and weighs 11.5 tons; Babe is 10.5 feet tall and weighs 4.5 tons. Paul has especially overinflated shoulders and biceps, the result, no doubt, of his prodigious tree-chopping.

Bunyan has a loudspeaker in his shirt pocket, long silent, but at one time likely connected to the Look Out Inn tavern that stood across the street. Small children may have been traumatized -- or at least confused -- by the occasional slurs of a boozy Bunyan. We were told that in the 1950s a drunk shot off Babe's balls, and a week later the same gun was used in a murder! Babe's balls were never replaced.

At some point Bunyan and Babe were moved from Ossineke to Lookout Hill in the town of Spruce, then in June-July 2006 they were trucked back to their original spot (minus the tavern), which had been developed into a roadside park. At the base of the statue we found this inscription: "It is a misdemeanor to deface or climb on Paul Bunyan or Babe."

Also see: Paul Bunyan: Friend or Foe?

1940s Paul Bunyan and Babe

Nicholson Hill Rd, Ossineke, MI
At the corner of US-23 and Nicholson Hill Rd.
RA Rates:
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric ZooDinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo, Ossineke, MI - < 1 mi.
3D Fish Mural3D Fish Mural, Alpena, MI - 11 mi.
Maritime Center, Century of ShipwrecksMaritime Center, Century of Shipwrecks, Alpena, MI - 12 mi.
In the region:
Animal Playground, Tawas City, MI - 45 mi.

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October 31, 2020

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