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St. Maries, Idaho: Paul Bunyan - Big Friend

A Big Friend statue with no feet was turned into the Paul Bunyan mascot of the local high school sports teams. He was supposedly found in a nearby field in the late 1960s.

Heyburn Elementary School

1405 Main Ave., St. Maries, ID
Heyburn Elementary School. At the corner of Main Ave./Hwy 5 and 15th St.
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Visitor Tips and News About Paul Bunyan - Big Friend

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Lumberjack Statue

It's not a Paul Bunyan statue. It's a Lumberjack. The high school sports teams are the Lumberjacks, so he's their mascot.

As your article notes, he's a Texaco Big Friend. This one was destined to be installed at the Texaco station across the street from the school, but when he was uncrated his feet were on backwards. They hauled the Big Friend to the airport, dropped him off, called the school board and told them they could have it. That's why he doesn't have any feet -- they're encased in concrete.

When he was installed, they painted him with a red-and-black checkered logger's shirt and black logger's pants. He didn't have a beard when he was installed. That was added later, as was the fiberglass ax. His shirt was changed to green -- the school color -- when the ax was installed.

[Jim Mowreader, 10/23/2008]


Muffler Man - Paul Bunyan

I live near Coeur d'Alene, ID and saw a reference to a missing 20' Paul Bunyan and wonder if this may be him. He resides on the front lawn of Heyburn Elementary School in St. Maries, ID.

[Jim Rueckel, 04/19/2004]

The axe wielding Bunyan has been here since townsfolk found him in a field in 1967 (rolled off a truck is the accepted explanation). According to a local account, "Vandals set off homemade bombs under his footless legs and leave unsavory calling cards in his huge hands." Heyburn Elementary School is Home of the Lumberjacks. Paul's flannel shirt is sometimes painted traditional red/black and sometimes the school colors -- green and yellow.

Muffler Man Bunyan - A Big Friend

Main Street, in front of Heyburn Elementary School "Home of the Lumberjacks." Holds a double-bit axe and wears a stocking cap. Flannel shirt sometimes painted traditional red/black and sometimes school colors green/yellow.

[Destry Scheel, 09/05/1998]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Muffler Man Inside SchoolMuffler Man Inside School, Cataldo, ID - 19 mi.
Chimney Shaped Like IdahoChimney Shaped Like Idaho, Coeur d' Alene, ID - 26 mi.
Burger-Hoisting Paul Bunyan SignBurger-Hoisting Paul Bunyan Sign, Coeur d'Alene, ID - 27 mi.
In the region:
Scrap Metal Sculptures, Kellogg, ID - 26 mi.

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