Lumberjack Stories

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by jon-monon, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    The Round River

    One time Paul's men started the logs down a new river which they had never seen before. They began to notice that they were seeing familiar places over and over and over again. They finally realized that they were on the Round River which naturally went round and round and had no end. Paul knew that this was a bad thing so he shoveled out the center of the river and made it into a big lake which is now known as Round Lake.
  2. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    The Troublesome Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes were a big problem and the men constantly fought them off with pike poles and axes. Paul brought in special bumblebees to destroy them, but they intermarried with the mosquitoes and became much worse. These bee-squitoes now had stingers on both ends! In the end, their craving for sweets caused them to swarm a fleet of ships which were bringing molasses to Paul's lumbercamp. They ate so much molasses that they could no longer fly and soon they were all drowned. Paul saved two of the mosquitoes which he later used for drilling holes in maple trees.
  3. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Paul's Trained Ants

    When Paul was short of help, he trained some enormous ants to do all kinds of logging work. They weighed over 2,000 pounds apiece and ate nothing but the finest imported Swedish snuff. The ants did the work of 50 ordinary men. In the winter, Paul had them fitted with warm mackinaws to keep them from hibernating.
  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Lucy, The Purple Cow

    Lucy, the Purple Cow, was a champion producer and furnished Paul's dairy products. She was contented so long as the grass was green, so in the winter Paul fitted her with green glasses to make the snow look like grass. The year of the two winters it got so cold that her milk turned to ice cream before it hit the pail.
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Ole, The Blacksmith

    Ole, the blacksmith, was the only man who could shoe Babe, the Blue Ox. Every time he made shoes for Babe they had to open a new iron mine. One time he carried a pair of Babe's shoes and their weight made him sink knee deep into the hard earth with every step. In his spare time Ole punched the holes in the donuts for the cook.
  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Sourdough Sam, The Cook

    Sourdough Sam, the cook, fed Paul's logging crews. When Sam made soup, he rowed out into the center of the big kettle with boatloads of cabbages, turnips and potatoes and shoveled them into the boiling water. The dining room tables were so long that Tiny Tim, the chore boy, usually drove the length of the table with the salt and pepper wagon, stayed all night and drove back in the morning for a fresh load. The cookhouse boys took to wearing rollerskates just to keep up with the serving.
  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    The Pancake Griddle

    Paul's axemen ate so many flap-jacks that the cook and his helpers couldn't supply the demand. Ole, the Blacksmith, made a griddle so large you couldn't see across it when the smoke was thick. Sourdough Sam had fifty men with bacon slabs tied to their feet skating around the griddle to grease it. The batter was mixed in large barrels and it took a strong cook just to turn the flapjacks, let alone get them to the table. Sourdough Sam's son, Hot Biscuit Slim, was credited with the idea of adding popcorn to the batter to make the flapjacks self-flipping.
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Sport, The Reversible Dog

    Sport, the Reversible Dog, was the camp pet and the best hunter. One of the axemen accidentally cut Sport in two with an axe. In his haste to mend the dog, he had him sewed up with his back half twisted opposite. This didn't bother Sport. He ran on his front legs until they were tired, then flopped over and ran on his hind legs.
  10. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    More About Paul as a Baby

    Paul Bunyan in his cradle Paul's clothing was so large they had to use wagon wheels for buttons. They used a lumber wagon drawn by a team of oxen as a baby carriage. When he outgrew this his parents put him on a raft off the coast of Maine.

    It is said that rocking in his sleep he caused huge waves which sunk many ships.

    He would eat forty bowls of porridge just to whet his appetite.
  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    A little different version of where the Blue Ox, Babe, came from

    As a child, Paul played with an axe and crosscut saw like other children played with toys. On his first birthday his father gave him a pet blue ox named Babe.

    Babe grew to be seven axehandles and a plug of tobacco wide between the eyes and as a snack would eat thirty bales of hay...wire and all.

    Paul and Babe were so large, the tracks they made galivanting around Minnesota filled up and made the 10,000 lakes.
  12. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Sharpening The Axes

    Sharpening the axes Paul like to work with big men. The most famous were his seven axemen. They were all named Elmer, so when he called they all came running. No grindstone was large enough to grind the axes so they sharpened them by holding them against large stones rolling down hill.

    Each of these men was over six feet tall sitting down and weighed over 300 pounds
  13. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Paul's Giant Pipe

    During the slack season, Paul's men made him a pipe. This wasn't easy. They had to select a special giant hickory tree and haul it in on two flatcars so they could work on it.

    Wow - what a pipeIn the early days Paul's smoking never bothered anyone, but in later years he started blowing his smoke west to keep his forest air fresh. This is what caused the smogs on the west coast.
  14. Mike R

    Mike R Member

    jon; will you be actually modelling Paul Bunyan and Babe the Ox, and their friends, on your railroad...? If so, will you use G scale figures to reflect their size ? [;)]
    I believe GN Big Sky Blue is pretty close to blue ox blue, but maybe it's RI Bankruptcy blue ???? [:D]
    regards / Mike
  15. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Great idea Mike! Can plant him in the woods and see who notices! I like it....:p
  16. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    The Plaid Duck

    The Plaid Duck - Early one spring morning, two of Paul Bunyan's kitchen boys were sitting on the dock waiting for Sourdough Sam to finish mixing his famous flapjack batter. They were dangling their feet over the dock into the water. That way, the slabs of bacon strapped to their feet would keep cool until it was time to grease the griddle (and that's how the expression "cooling their heels" came about).

    The two were talking about Paul's newest logging plans when they heard a mournful hooting sound. There, next to the dock was a plain gray and white duck. Now this duck was rather strange looking--it had a long pointed bill and red eyes. They asked the duck why he was so sad, crying in that mournful way. Well, the duck explained that tonight was the spring debutante ball and he had nothing to wear. This was the first time he was old enough to attend the ball and he hoped to find his soul mate there.

    So it was very important that he be dressed his best. The boys completely understood his predicament. One of the boys was none other than Jens Threadbetter who was rather handy with a needle and thread and, in addition to working in the kitchen, sewed and repaired the men's flannel shirts. Jens told the duck he thought he could find some scraps of flannel left over from Paul's newest shirt. And so he did. He sewed a lovely black and white flannel cape that fit perfectly over the duck's neck and draped elegantly over the back.

    Well, the duck was so excited he trilled and trilled "watch out for me, I'm hot tonight." He was the hit of the ball and immediately found his soul mate. The other ducks all wanted outfits exactly the same so Jens was busy for many days fitting and sewing black-and-white flannel capes. But these capes only seemed to fit properly on the funny looking ducks with the long pointed bills and red eyes. And, because of all the flannel that Jens used in sewing the duck capes, he ran out of black and white flannel for Paul and his men who then had to have red and black plaid flannel shirts.

    BTW: Jens was also my Grandfathers name, the Danish Blacksmith who immigrated tothe U.S., along with Knudsen.
  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    The Plaid Duck Sheds His Cape

    Now fall was in the air and Paul Bunyan decided it was time he went south to meet this guy, Tony Beaver, whom he had heard so much about. You've probably heard of Tony too. Just about the same time Paul was logging the Upper Midwest, Tony was logging in West Virginia and all the timberlands in the south.

    Tony had his camp up Eel River in West Virginia, and Paul decided with the cold north winter coming on, the time was just about right to make the trek south. The Plaid Duck and his young family, and all the other plaid ducks and their families, spent quite a bit of time around Paul's camp that first spring and summer. After all, this was the first year they had their new black and white plaid capes. You remember in the spring, Jens Threadbetter, one of Paul's kitchen boys who also made all the camp clothes, made the first cape for the funny-looking duck with the long bill and red eyes so he had something to wear to the debutante ball.

    Well, of course by now there were many plaid ducks because they all got black and white capes just like the first Plaid Duck. And that first year they thoughts they'd better stay near Jens, just in case their capes needed some adjustments.

    Jens and The Plaid Duck visited every morning while Jens and the other kitchen boys waited, with their bacon-clad feet in the water, for Sourdough Sam to get the griddle ready for them to grease. It was during one of these visits that Jens told The Plaid Duck all about Tony Beaver, and about Paul's plans to head south to meet him. That got the Plaid Duck to thinking. Later he talked to his family, and then the other plaid ducks, and they agreed. It was getting a little chilly and they would head south with Paul and his men.

    Well, the day came in October that Paul and his men were all packed and ready to leave camp to visit Tony. Now, Tony knew all about Paul from Big Henry, one of Tony's men who stayed for a while in Paul's camp while visiting his folks up north. That's also how Paul had learned about Tony. So when Big Henry left to return to Eel River, he had heard when Paul intended to start his trip south.

    Now, most of you probably know about Tony and his Path. But Paul didn't know about the Path. So just as the men were leaving, there was a new path, stretched out nice and smooth and heading south. They hadn't noticed it before but it looked just fine and heading in the right direction, so on it they went. Well, as soon as the whole crew, including Babe, were on the Path, off it went--breaking loose from the ground and tearing through the woods with Paul and his men hanging on for dear life. Well, the Plaid Duck and all the plaid ducks were mighty surprised as well! You know, it takes them a bit of time to get themselves up from the lake and into the air. So, when the Path sped off with Paul and his crew, the plaid ducks had to get themselves going in a hurry.

    That leisurely trip south was anything but--the plaid ducks had all they could do to keep up with Tony's Path. Well, they all landed--the Path with a thud. As quick as it had leaped off the ground, it settled right down at Tony's camp at the Eel River. And the plaid ducks dropped into the Eel River. Well, you can about imagine how hot and tired everyone was, including those plaid ducks. The weather was terribly warm and they had been traveling pretty fast. When Tony saw those plaid ducks, so worn out, and heard they were heading further south, he told them they sure wouldn't need their plaid capes in Florida!

    Now they thought and thought about what they could do with those lovely plaid capes. Then next morning, Tony had a solution for them. "You just leave all them capes with me for the winter. Then you can pick 'em up next spring on your way north." And that's exactly what they did. And now you know when you get to Florida in the winter, there won't be any plaid ducks--they'll just look like funny-looking ducks with long bills and red eyes. But in the spring, they'll stop for a visit with Tony and by the time they're back on our lakes, they'll be plaid ducks again.
  18. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    You are a sick man Jon! Thank goodness for that fact! :D :D :D Keep up the good work! :)
  19. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Thanks Ty, I think....
  20. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    The Legend of Paul Bunyan's Bobber!

    A long, long time ago, Paul and Babe were vacationing near Pequot Lakes after sending their last load of logs down the Mississippi. Paul thought he'd try his luck at catching Notorious Nate - O' One-Eyed Jakes' cousin, a forty foot northern so mean that he was expelled from every school of fish in the five-state area
    Nate had only one weakness - his love for Sunfish Sally - the sassiest, sexiest, fantail sunfish you ever did see!

    Paul's plan was simple: Ole the Big Swede, Paul's blacksmith, forged a huge deadly iron hook with barbs as sharp as Paul's axe! He attached it to a 90 foot pole and baited it with a six-foot juicy worm. But, to complete this fantastic rug - Ole made the largest bobber ever known - 60 feet in circumference

    Armed with is pole - Paul and Babe headed for Whitefish Lake and cast it in off Pickerel Point, just where Sunfish Sally was sunning herself. Nate was nearby as usual, admiring Sally's spectacular silhouette. Sally took one look at that bait and darted after Paul's murderous hook. Nate, sensing the danger, headed Sally off. But, alas, the zinging hook caught Nate instead! Paul gave one mighty tug and with a last desperate flip, Nate flew so high in the air, that he landed seven miles away in downtown Pequot Lakes.

    And, the bobber caught in the tower scaffolding under construction for the new watertower and there it sits today - but a memory of Paul's battle with the ill fated Nate.

    All the townspeople filled two freezers full of fish that spring. But, the hole left by Nate puzzled them. It was decided by the Pequotians to bake beans in it every July and that's how Bean Hole Days started.

    Oh, Yes, and when Paul and Babe were battling Ol' Nate, they left a few footprints and created the Whitefish Chain. Paul named one, Lake Bertha, after his aunt. And Babe named one lake Hay after his favorite fodder!

    People have speculated on the fate of the beautiful Sunfish Sally. It has been said that pool Sally was so blue and brokenhearted over her beau's demise, that ever after, each of her descendents carried the mark of her lover's remembrance and hence was born a new species - the Blue Gill!

    So goes the Tale of Paul Bunyan's Bob

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