Blade

Swap Stories, Eat Stew

Northern Grey-Beards

Bayfield Paul Bunyan

Ironwood Daily Globe
Ironwood, Michigan
March 9, 1936
Page 7

Paul Bunyan's Disciples Swap Stories, Eat Stew

The spirit of Paul Bunyan, that legendary man of the tall tales about the tall trees, was stilled today after oldtimers glowed for a day in his northwoods paradise.

An estimated 400 northern grey-beards gathered at Feldmeier's woodlot yesterday about seven miles north of (Bayfield) for the annual outing of the Mystic Knights of the Blue Ox an organization dedicated to honor Bunyan and his favorite ox, Babe.

The picnic scene at the foot of a hill overlooking the Apostle islands of Lake Superior was overrun with jubilant woodsmen. Laughingly they sat on logs placed around bonfires, did justice to a meal which Chief Cook Gus Weber claimed was the equal of Paul's great black duck dinner, and improved on the yarns told about the superhero.

The scene inspired one white bearded "river pig" to recall one of Paul's really great feats.

Dreamily he eyed the frozen lake as he recounted that Bunyan apparently believed a hill towering behind his lumber camp near here was responsible for the severe winter of the blue snow. The next summer therefore determined to remove it, he wound a thousand mile logging chain around the base of the offending hill.

Then he hitched the powerful Babe to the chain. Babe tugged so hard he landed in Lake Superior. As the earth hit the water, it broke into thousands of pieces and darkened the sky for three weeks. When the air finally cleared and the natives looked over the lake they saw the Apostle islands for the first time.

The Bunyan disciples were called to the dinner of mulligan stew, baked beans, pies, potatoes, doughnuts and coffee through the original Bunyan 15-foot dinner horn--the same one through which Paul supposedly called his crew to grub the day the echo rocked the Brooklyn bridge and flushed all the water out of the Hudson river.

The afternoon was spent enjoying lumberjack music and sports with a tug-of-war between the oldtimers of Bayfield and Washburn, Wis., as the feature event. Bayfield won, but the boys claimed a foul. They were certain, they said, that Paul tugged for Bayfield.

Then they pointed to evidence indicating Bunyan's ghost undoubtedly was on hand. A jack-knife 15 feet long and weighing 63 pounds and a six-foot axe handle were found beside the woodpile. Other relics included a cribbage board the size of a railroad tie, Paul's watch weighing 10 pounds, an undershirt size 80, a 16 pound mousetrap, and one of Babe's shoes which was so heavy four men were required to lift it.

The Knights renewed a pledge to gather funds to build a memorial to Bunyan some day--a rough one in the shape of a statue at least 30 feet high because Paul never cared for small things

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