My wife and I are on a mission to visit all the oversized local landmarks throughout Minnesota. This blog chronicles those visits and covers other related topics.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Big Ole

July 4th, 2006 - Alexandria, MN

Big Ole

It's the 4th of July and we are heading to my aunt's house on South Turtle Lake near Underwood, MN. We decide to leave early so we have some time to stop and see some big stuff on the way. It was a beautiful summer day as we pulled into Alexandria on our way to see Ole Oppe, it was maybe a little on the cool side but it was still the morning.

Alexandria claims to be "The Birthplace of America". It's a claim that is surrounded by a bit of a controversy and perhaps a bit of conspiracy. It dates back to 1898 when a farmer in nearby Kensington found a 28ft viking statue with this claim written on it tangled in the roots of a tree in his field.

That doesn't sound right. Hold on. Ah yes, he found a very large stone with some strange writing on it tangled in the roots of a tree in his field. It turned out to be a viking runestone that proved the vikings were in Minnesota before Columbus had thought he landed in India. Many people believed this to be a fake. Others believed that it was real. Controversy swelled and the farmer's family was ostracized. The Smithsonian had even showed interest in the runestone and even had it on display in Washington. Later the Smithsonian denounced the runestone and returned it a bit scratched up by their "experts". (Expert thugs if you ask me.) Is the Smithsonian right and the runestone is a fake? Or are they involved in a pro-Columbus cover-up? We may never know.

Big Ole stands to acknowledge Alexandria's claim. He is displayed in a small park about a block from the Runestone Museum.

On the way out of town we stopped and bought some ice cream treats. See, ice cream and big stuff!


Jennifer Schmidt said...

Great photo of Big Ole. Would you be willing to let us use it on the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce website and in our print/Internet ads? Thank you for your consideration.

Jennifer Schmidt
Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce

Josh said...

Hi Jennifer,

I am more than willing to let you use this photo and thanks for the compliment.