Old Timers Bring Relics

Roads Leading to the Bunyania Center

Eau Claire Paul Bunyan

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
February 1, 1935
Page 2

Knights of Blue Ox Prepare For Annual Picnic

Disciples of Far-Famed Paul Bunyan to Gather Sunday near Bayfield for First Annual Event

Fantastic incredible yarns about the legendary lumberjack giant, Paul Bunyan, were flying thick here today while the Mystic Knights of the Blue Ox cleared the snow-bound woodlot for their first lumberjack picnic Sunday.

His Spirit Marches On

The spirit of the fabled demigod of the wood camps and his ox, Babe, whose saga dates from the winter of the blue snow to the spring that the rain came up from China, was stomping louder than ever through the northwoods.

The Knights were ready for a day of feasting, woodmen's sports, and story-telling to preserve the Bunyan tradition.

The story of the picnic and the best of the fabulous tales will be preserved in the records of Johnny Inkslinger, Bunyan's camp clerk, in the person of Captain Bill Miller. It was Johnny who hit upon the idea of omitting the dots from the "i's" and the crosses from the "t's" to save Paul nine barrels of ink on his camp payroll alone.

Old Timers Bring Relics

Roads leading to the Bunyania center rumbled with the weight of lumbering tools and miscellany that old timers brought for the museum of Bunyan relics. The only requirement for a place in the proposed museum is that the size of the tool is great enough, and the story about it fantastic enough to establish it as a one-time possession of Herculean Paul.

Among the pieces already collected is a huge axe with a six-foot handle. It is a replica of the axes used in Bunyan's camp, which were supposed to be so large that the lumberjacks ran beside boulders rolling down steep hillsides in order to grind the blades on the revolving stones.

Some "Forty"

One year Bunyan's crews swung these huge axes for a whole winter, trying to clear a "forty" which was a pyramid of land so high it "took a week" to see its top. One hundred million feet of timber was cut from it, and some of the men got one short leg from working all winter on one side of the slope.

Other mementos donated for the museum were a mousetrap large enough to catch a bear, a tremendous cant-hook, a mammoth shoe, an enormous pair of trousers, and a cribbage board four feet long. A butcher has made a sausage eight feet long especially for the picnic.

To Erect Statue

With funds gathered through these annual lumberjack picnics, the Mystic Knights of the Blue Ox plan to erect a heroic statue of preponderous Paul.

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