Paul Bunyan Statues: California

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Paul Bunyan & Babe
Trees of Mystery
Klamath, CA
The Trees of Mystery attraction opened in 1931 featuring a trail tour of unusually-shaped giant redwoods which were created by natural forces. Today, there is also an enormous gift shop. However, the real tourist appeal is the giant statues.

This Paul Bunyan statue is the largest in the world, standing about 49 feet tall. This is the third version. The first was made in 1946 of papier mache which only lasted a year. The second was bigger, made of fiberglass, and took four years to create. The current version is from 1961. Like the Paul Bunyan in Brainerd, MN, this statue waves, winks, rotates his head, and talks interactively with the crowds. In 2008, I only witnessed him talking.

Babe was built in 1949 and is 35 feet tall to the tips of his horns. The statue was originally installed on the other side of the main building. Although oxen are castrated bulls, this Babe is intact. At one time, Babe's head nodded and smoke blew out his nostrils. This frightened children so that practice was stopped. In 1983, bracing was installed that ended the head bobbing. In 2007, Babe's head fell off and was repaired. I have read of plans to add oxen sound effects but Babe was silent when I was there in 2008. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

Paul Bunyan
Three Rivers, CA
COS Giant
Visalia, CA
This Paul Bunyan statue was carved from a sequoia tree log from 1941-1942 by Carroll Barnes. The statue is just over 16 feet tall. It was originally installed in Three Rivers at a few locations. In the early 1970s, it was moved to the Paul Bunyan Inn in Porterville, CA. After the motel became the Palm Tree Inn, the statue was given back to Barnes. It was moved here to the Three Rivers Historical Museum in sometime between 2002 and 2005. For more, see this website. [map]

The COS Giant statue was also created by Carroll Barnes. It is located at COS, the College of the Sequoias. The statue was carved from a sequoia tree log and built around 1955. [map]

Paul Bunyan
Sacramento, CA
Paul Bunyan
Susanville, CA
Paul Bunyan
Redding, CA
These Paul Bunyan statues in Sacramento, Susanville, and Redding are located at Lumberjacks Restaurants. I believe all the restaurants in this chain may have this statue. There are other statues like this in North Las Vegas, NV, Wisconsin Dells, WI, and elsewhere. [Sacramento map]; Susanville map; [Redding map]

Paul Bunyan
Redding, CA
Paul Bunyan
Placerville, CA
This Paul Bunyan statue in Redding is located at the Lumberjacks Restaurant. It appears he held an axe originally. The statue was installed sometime between 2008 and 2011. [map]

This Paul Bunyan statue in Placerville is installed next to Millwood Furnishings and Reclamation. It was built in 1962 by the owner of Bradford Chainsaws which was the business that was there then. The statue is made from sheet metal and bed springs. Ham cans were used to make his feet. The statue's left arm was originally horizontal and one of the fingers pointed at the store. After the statue was knocked over in a windstorm, the arm was braced to a sign frame for support. [map]

Paul Bunyan & Babe
Westwood, CA
These Paul Bunyan & Babe statues were carved by Burlwood Industries. The Paul Bunyan was carved from a 22-foot-long redwood log in 1988. The Babe statue was carved by Burlwood in 1989. [map]

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