Paul and Babe make top 5 in USA TODAY quirky landmark poll
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The iconic statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox ranked fourth among the greatest "Quirky Landmarks" in the United States, according to an online poll conducted by USA TODAY.
In results released Wednesday, the Bemidji pair beat out a list of oddities that included the peach-shaped water tower in Gaffney, S.C., which is featured on the Netflix series "House of Cards" (10th), the Enchanted Highway of Regent, N.D. (8th) and the Fremont Troll of Seattle (5th). However, the folksy majesty of Paul and Babe was apparently lost on the people who favored Carhenge, a replica of Stonehenge made out of cars in Alliance, Neb., (3rd), Longaberger Home Office, an office building shaped like a giant basket in Newark, Ohio (2nd) and Big Tex, a giant corporate-sponsored cowboy at the state fairgrounds in Dallas (1st).
Landmarks were nominated by USA TODAY staff.
On its website, USA TODAY describes Paul and Babe:
"Everyone's heard the legend of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe, but only those who visit the town of Bemidji, Minn. enjoy a photo op with the giant duo. Both statues were built in fall of 1937, and Earl Bucklen, the mayor at the time, was used as a model for Paul. Babe's giant tin horns measure 14 feet from tip to tip, while Paul stands tall at 18 feet."
In describing North Dakota's Enchanted Highway, USA TODAY said: "North Dakota's Enchanted Highway is standing proof that if you build it, they will come. In 1989, resident of Regent, N.D. Gary Greff worried that modernization would wipe out his small town if he didn't do something to draw attention to it, so he got to work (with absolutely no artistic experience) on the "World's Largest Tin Family," a sculpture made from scrap metal. Today, Highway 21 is lined with seven of Greff's mammoth creations."
To see more on the contest results, go to www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-quirky-landmark/.