Local officials investigating damages to Paul Bunyan

Local officials are investigating the iconic Paul Bunyan statue’s damages.

After reviewing camera footage, city officials believe that several people were climbing and hanging off of Paul’s arm and adjacent sign.

Earlier this week, the statue’s concrete arm appeared to break away from the rest of the structure.

Steel rebar runs throughout the structure, and Parks and Rec staff have temporarily secured the arm for safety.

Parks and Rec Director Marcia Larson says the city already hired Jensen Conservation to complete conservation work on Paul and Babe this summer.

“Paul, throughout his history in Paul Bunyan Park, has been interactive with many visitors standing close, holding his leg, and hand,” said Larson.

Larson added that her department strongly encourages people from hanging items or climbing on the statues because of the chance of damage.

Jensen Conservation plans to arrive ahead of schedule by next week to also assess and fix the damage on the 1937 structure.

The Bemidji Police Department is conducting an investigation.

Anyone with information about Paul Bunyan’s damage can report it by contacting CrimeStoppersMN.org.

Those who provide information can stay anonymous and possibly qualify for a reward of up to $1,000.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north-central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment, and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji and enjoys spending her spare time with her son Logan, daughter Brigid, and pets Vincent and Piper. She also loves reading, Star Trek, and gardening... badly.


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