Little Balser and His Bears.

Little Balser and His Bears

Field review by the editors.

Shelbyville, Indiana

Brent Balser ("Little Balser") was the short, teenage protagonist of The Bears of Blue River, a popular children's novel published in 1901 by Shelbyville resident Charles Major. The book follows Balser and his family in pioneer-day Indiana, and recounts his frequent encounters with bears, most of which end up being shot. In 1929, Shelbyville paid tribute to its author with an Italian-cast bronze statue by Mary Elizabeth Stout. It depicts a stern-looking Balser holding aloft Tom and Jerry, two bear cubs that he turned onto pets. Balser had shot and killed both of their parents, and the cubs disappear midway through the book. They probably ended up in the Balser family stew pot.

Also see: Men Vs. Bears

Little Balser and His Bears

N. Harrison St., Shelbyville, IN
Midtown. On the north side of the town square, which is at the intersection of Hwy 9/N. Harrison St. and Washington St.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Grave in the Middle of the RoadGrave in the Middle of the Road, Franklin, IN - 13 mi.
Sit with Ben FranklinSit with Ben Franklin, Franklin, IN - 15 mi.
Lova's Dollhouse GraveLova's Dollhouse Grave, Rushville, IN - 14 mi.
In the region:
Lonehenge: Cadillac Ranch with One Car, Indianapolis, IN - 28 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Indiana

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Indiana.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Indiana Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

World's Largest Fire Hydrant, Columbia, South Carolina (Dec 6-12, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now


Favorite Quirky City Sights