In Bangor, Maine, a framed birth certificate of Paul Bunyan hangs in the city clerk’s office.
Born February 18, 1834—the same day as Bangor’s founding—the fictional lumberjack and his blue ox, Babe, have starred in books, films, and roadside tourist traps that have captivated Americans for over a century.
In a way, Bunyan has become synonymous with the communities from Maine to California that once fueled the country’s logging industry. Tracking the legend to picturesque lakes and old-growth forests offers travelers the opportunity to explore the beauty of America’s last wild places. Here’s what to know.
The Paul Bunyan figure essentially stands in for Maine and its timber economy, says Jason Newton, author of a forthcoming book on logging’s labor history. “Bunyan is an anthropomorphized depiction of the industry.”
The American logging industry started in the early 1600s after the British depleted their timber resources. Looking to their American colonies for raw material, the English began to cut down Maine’s towering white pines to help build ships and masts for the British Navy. The first trees chopped were on Maine’s Monhegan Island, where artists now capture the coastal scenery with paint and canvas.
By the mid-1800s, hundreds of sawmills sat on the banks of Penobscot River in Bangor. Skilled foresters would drive cut logs down the river to the mills, wrangling and dismantling pileups, often with dynamite. It required skill, balance, and a bit of bravery. This history led Maine to claim the world’s most famous lumberjack and erect a 31-foot-tall Paul Bunyan statue in downtown Bangor, a popular photo op.
(Here’s what timber tourism and lumberjack shows can teach kids about trees.)
For more insight into the state’s logging legacy, the Maine Forest and Logging Museum outside of Bangor reconstructed a 1790s milling community where visitors can see demos of steam-engine log haulers and a water-powered mill. Travelers can also visit a Maine Boomhouse, where workers once gathered thousands of logs into “booms,” or barriers, often made of chains, that could be towed across a lake to a river. At Ambajejus Lake, the Ambajejus Boomhouse shows how these barriers were made and used via a small museum and 19th-century artifacts.
Despite Paul Bunyan’s “birth certificate” and the many children’s books that place his birthplace in Maine, evidence suggests that Bunyan was invented sometime after logging operations moved west and began clearing almost all of the old-growth forests in places like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, says Michael Edmonds, a historian and author of Out of the Northwoods: The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan.
The earliest Bunyan tales were circulating simultaneously as the number of
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The holiday season is about to begin and one very pleasant way to increase the holiday cheer of your celebrations is with a creative cocktail. Whether you are indulging in an American gin with an abundance of botanicals or a special bottle of pisco from Chile, an interesting and tasty beverage is a terrific way to welcome guests and spur conversation. Below are six fun cocktails to show off your bartending skills.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly flight down south—you’re in luck. Southwest Airlines has announced it will be expanding its international flight schedule by next summer—with new routes flying to Mexico, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos, and more.
The Cafe-Bar area features a beautiful internal atrium area with a sliding roof top. Guests can enjoy fresh, high-quality food from our food menu which includes a selection of our starters and salads, as well as our delicious Legendary burgers, steaks, fajitas and many more.
Summer is over and travel is seasonally slow. Meanwhile, some Americans are reluctant to travel overseas because of the ongoing war in the Middle East. But travel vendors are tempting the hesitant with Black Friday deals to extraordinary destinations.
WHY IT RATES: Aqua-Aston Hospitality celebrates its recent expansions while also supporting its employees affected by the Maui wildfires and giving back to the local Maui community. — Lacey Pfalz, Associate Writer, TravelPulse
Few dishes link Britain so closely to its gastronomic past as the pork pie. Indeed it’s one of the rare everyday foodstuffs that would be instantly recognisable to our medieval forebears. Perfect for picnics but spectacular enough to form the centrepiece at a party — they were the Christmas Day breakfast of novelist DH Lawrence — a pork pie is a foodstuff for every occasion.
There’s an affinity between trains and Christmas, but what precisely is the connection? Ghostliness comes into it – the mystique of a train in the wintry night. I think of the misty, hypnotic adaptation of Dickens’s story The Signalman, in 1976, part of the BBC’s A Ghost Story for Christmas strand; or the ghost story in the Christmas number of the Railway magazine (that publication’s only excursion into whimsicality is always worth reading).
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