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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - Year In Review

Babe Big Mean Muskie

2008 is at an end. It was another good year in Big Stuff, highlighted by our Brainerd trip, the Vining Sculpture Park, and another truly weird backstory that could challenge Big Louie for the Oddest Big Stuff Story crown. Here is a brief recap of all of the Big Stuff we saw in 2008.

Repurposed Happy Chef Serpent

March 19th - A-Z Happy Chef, Princeton, MN
March 19th - Giant Walleye, Isle, MN
March 19th - Big Mean Fish, Isle, MN
March 19th - Walleye Capital of the World?, Garrison, MN
March 19th - Robin Hood, Garrison, MN
March 19th - Leaping Deer, Deerwood, MN
March 19th - Sea Serpent, Crosby, MN
March 19th - Babe the Blue Ox, Brainerd, MN
March 19th - Paul & Babe Bowling, Baxter, MN
March 20th - World's Largest Art Tractor, New York Mills, MN

World's Largest Dala Horse Pliers

June 29th - Small Pelicans in a Big Pelican Town, Pelican Rapids, MN
June 29th - Vining Sculpture Park, Vining, MN
June 29th - Our Lady of the Hills, Urbank, MN
June 29th - World's Largest Dragonfly, Ottertail, MN
June 29th - Giant Metal Otter, Ottertail, MN
July 26th - Beach Dude, Hampton, MN
August 2nd - World's Largest Dala Horse, Mora, MN
August 2nd - Pine City Voyageur, Pine City, MN
August 16th - St. Urho, Menahga, MN
August 16th - Giant Ice Cream Cone, Wadena, MN
October 4th - Iggy the Iguana, St. Paul, MN
October 11th - Giant Green Adirondack Chair II, Minneapolis, MN
October 11th - Giant Mermaid, Mounds View, MN

World's Largest Art Tractor World's Largest Dragonfly

Monday, December 8, 2008

"Old Three Legs" Gets Makeover

So this isn't exactly Big Stuff, but it's a neat bit of history from my home county and the following report from Roadside America does a decent job of tying it into Big Stuff.

Makeover For Minnesota's Killer Wolf
December 8, 2008

For years a lone wolf nicknamed “Old Three Legs” worried the citizens of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. He ate chickens, mostly, but some believed that he was a potential child-chewer, and his knack of not getting shot made him more fearsome. “Hunting parties of hundreds could not bring him down,” reads a lurid report on WDAY-TV, “his reign of terror still unmatched.”

(It’s no surprise that Old Three Legs hung around Detroit Lakes, if the nearby World’s Largest Turkey, Pelican, and Booming Prairie Chicken symbolize the local food supply.) continue reading....

Other articles:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

International Spotlight: Pineapples

Photo by BelizeSquare

This giant pineapple is 16 meters tall and is located at The Big Pineapple, which is a tourist attraction and working farm near Nambour, Queensland, Australia. They have tours, rides, shops, restaurants, and exhibits. I believe you can go inside the pineapple and get a view from the top. There is some history behind the attraction on Wikipedia.

There is another giant pineapple not too far away in Gympie at a vacant gas station. It looks to rival The Big Pineapple in size. I don't know the size of this one, though.

The Gympie pineapple circa 2005. Photo by drewish.

Bathurst, South Africa claims to have the "biggest Pineapple in the World!" This one measures 16.7 meters high and has 3 floors, complete with a gift shop, and an observation deck.

Bathurst pineapple. Photo by philrickerby.

This awesome building exists somewhere in Thailand between Cha-am and Phuket. That's all I've been able to find out.

Photo by Master Matt

Lastly, but not leastly, here is a less huge pineapple in the Philippines.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New World Record for Largest Pinata

A new Guinness World Record was set yesterday (or possibly a week before) in Philadelphia for the World's Largest Pinata. The pinata measured in at 28.5 meters (94′) long, 7.2 meters (24′) wide and 18 (60′) meters tall and was filled with 8,000 pounds of candy. This was all done for a Carnival Cruise commercial. Organizers had originally planned to break open the pinata in a public event, but became concerned over safety when 15,000 people showed up. They cancelled the event and broke (broke isn't really the right word) open the pinata secretly using about 300 extras for the commercial shoot. All the candy will be donated to a number of charities.

Most of it is explained on John Heald's blog, which includes the video below.

Monday, November 3, 2008

New World Record for Largest Pair of Jeans

Seamstresses in Peru set out to set a Guinness World Record for the largest pair of jeans sewn. (link) The pair of jeans measures 141 feet tall and 98 feet wide and weighs in at 7.5 tons. The current record is held by the city of Medellin in Columbia. That pair was 114 feet tall and 82 feet wide.

It sounds like they are just waiting for their record setting jeans to be accepted by Guinness. There wasn't a Guinness representative present, but a notary who can send documentation to the group was.

The pants will be recycled as backpacks for school children.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Soundtrack

The World at Large - by Modest Mouse

The World at Large comes off of Modest Mouse's breakthrough album "Good News for People Who Love Bad News". It's included in my Big Stuff Soundtrack listing for obvious reasons; 1)the word "large" in the title and 2)I like Modest Mouse. You can hear the song on their MySpace page if you know how to use the new fancy music player with the playlists and such. You can also listen to it once for free on LaLa. Or you can watch it performed live on what appears to be Austin City Limits below.

You can see the other songs on the soundtrack by clicking the little soundtrack label at the bottom or way over on the left.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Giant Mermaid

October 11, 2008 - Mounds View, MN

Giant Mermaid

After seeing the adirondack chairs in Minneapolis, we ran up to Mounds View to see the mermaid. The mermaid was built in 1967 out of fiberglass by Robert Johnson as an advertisement for the Mermaid Supper Club. The place is now known as The Mermaid Entertainment and Event Center. The event center has a sports bar, bowling alley, convention center, hosts wedding receptions, and is connected to an AmericInn Hotel. The mermaid stands 30 feet tall and is on top of the building.

As my wife says, "I don't think you'd get away with a half-naked chick on a building these days." She really puts the "mounds" in Mounds View.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Giant Adirondack Chair

October 11, 2008 - Minneapolis, MN

Giant Green Adirondack Chair

After a beautiful morning at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (see), we went hunting for more Big Stuff. We headed to the Lake Pointe Corporate Center near Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis for the other giant green adirondack chair in the Twin Cities. Almost exactly 1 year ago we went to the giant chair in St. Paul. These two chairs are exactly the same and were built to promote the Green Chair Project, which you can read about in that post from a year ago. This one actually has a plaque next to it that reads, "We learn by doing."

We Learn By Doing

I don't know if this one had to be replaced like the one in St. Paul was or if it is the original from 1995. This one, though, has a couple buddies. They aren't as big, but there should be one that meets your green adirondack chair needs.

Green Adirondack Chairs of Varying Size

I mentioned in that post from a year ago that there is also a giant green adirondack chair in Washington D.C (pictured below). It's a slightly different style, but it looks just as big. It's located on the lawn of the Duke Ellington School for the Arts.

Photo by lucindalunacy.

Tip: Holy lady beetles, Batman! That place was just swarming with them. We both smelled like lady beetles until we were able to get to Dairy Queen and wash our hands (which didn't totally get rid of the smell)... and eat ice cream of course.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Iggy the Iguana

October 4th, 2008 - St. Paul, MN

Iggy 2

Iggy was created by Nicholas Swearer. He began work on the iguana, which he modeled after his pet iguana named Spot, in 1971 at the age of 15. It took him 4 years to complete. The completed sculpture is 40 feet long, weighs 3,900 pounds, and was built using 12,500 railroad spikes.

Iggy 1

When Swearer left home for college, that's right, he built a giant iguana sculpture out of railroad spikes BEFORE he went to college, his parents sold the sculpture for $10,000. It was later donated to the Science Museum of Minnesota in 1978.

He stood in front of the Science Museum entrance until 1999 when the museum moved to a new location. Iggy, meanwhile, traveled the Twin Cities, was cleaned and restored, and settled at the new Science Museum. He now stands by the bus drop off on the back side of the museum. Strategically placed for all the field trip kids to see, I'm sure.

Iggy 4

Iggy at

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Soundtrack: Tallest Building in Hell

I think it's about time I added another song to the Big Stuff soundtrack.

Tallest Building in Hell - by Jared Mees & the Grown Children

I've never been to hell, but I would imagine that the tallest building there would be rather big. Right? I mean, they do have cheap labor for all eternity down there, so that's not an obstacle.

Regardless, the song's pretty good and with the use of a superlative like tallest, it's good enough to make this list.

The song is currently up on their myspace page.

You can see the other songs on the soundtrack by clicking the little soundtrack label at the bottom or way over on the left.

Monday, September 15, 2008

International Spotlight: World's Largest Dinosaur

Drumheller, Alberta, Canada

Photo by Tall Meds

This T-Rex is billed as the World's Largest Dinosaur, and it's an easy claim to believe. She stands 86 feet tall, is 151 feet long, and weighs 145,000 pounds. There is a viewing platform in the mouth of the giant T-Rex and costs $3 CDN admission. On the way up there are murals and fossil displays.

Drumheller is about a 90 minute drive northeast of Calgary. Drumheller also proclaims itself the Dinosaur Capital of the World and the Heart of the Canadian Badlands.

Here is some YouTube video of the World's Largest dinosaur.

more info

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fallen Heroes: Spindle

Photo by paul goyette.

This Berwyn, Illinois landmark is no more. Spindle was a 50-foot spike with 8 cars impaled on it. It was built in 1989 by artist Dustin Shuler. It was located in the parking lot of Cermak Plaza in Berwyn. Spindle was featured in the movie Wayne's World in 1992. Plans were being made to remove the sculpture for more development at the shopping center, specifically a new Walgreens. The costs to move it would have been very high for the city, especially if the cars were in rough shape. In an effort to save Spindle, the sculpture was put up for auction on eBay. That auction ended with no bids.

Photo by BantikFamily.

On May 2, 2008, Spindle was disassembled. The top two cars were saved and, supposedly, if sufficient funds were raised, a new Spindle could be built using those two original cars.

More info.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Giant Ice Cream Cone

August 16th, 2008 - Wadena, MN

Wadena Ice Cream Cone

From Menahga we headed south on Highway 71 through Wadena and found the ice cream cone. We had tried to find it once before, but with no luck. We had kind of given up on it after it appeared that it had been disregarded and rundown. But, the folks at World's Largest Things spotted it on a recent trip. It has been fixed up and it looks really good.

The cone stands 14-feet tall and is made out of concrete. It is believed to have been originally built in 1973. It now stands at a private residence on the east side of Highway 71 south of Wadena, it's actually probably closer to Hewitt. It's located close to the big wind turbine, if you need a landmark. The residence also has a number of small windmills and other yard ornaments and sculptures. It seems that they sell windmills as well.

Since it was a private residence, we just pulled off the road quick, snapped a couple pictures, and bolted. Ok, we didn't bolt, but we did leave shortly in a timely manner.

After our success, we headed back into Wadena and ate at the Pizza Ranch. It was tasty. I hadn't had Pizza Ranch since college.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

St. Urho

August 16th, 2008 - Menahga, MN

St. Urho

This one is kind of strange and, for this blog, that's really saying something.

The legend of St. Urho goes that a long time ago in Finland the grape crop was being destroyed by grasshoppers. Urho drove away the grasshoppers using his booming voice by chanting "Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen!", which translates to "Grasshopper, grasshopper, go from hence to Hell!"

St. Urho's day is celebrated on March 16th by wearing royal purple and Nile green, drinking beer (even green and purple beer) and wine, and feasting on mojakka, which is basically just soup. The plaque below this St. Urho statue even describes a celebration where Finnish women and children gather around the shores of the many lakes in Finland and chant what St. Urho chanted. All the while, the men dress in green costumes and gather on the hills overlooking the lakes and, basically, act like grasshoppers and slowly disappear to change into purple costumes. Then the polka and drinking begins.

Now this is where it gets weird.

"What", you say, "that wasn't weird already?"

St. Urho

The legend of St. Urho can be traced as far back as the 1950's to a region known as Northern Minnesota. It seems most of those familiar with the legend credit Richard Mattson of Virginia, MN as the creator. It was in 1953 while working at Ketola's department store in Virginia when Mattson first spun his tale. He was being teased by his Irish co-workers that the Finns didn't have any great saints like St. Patrick, so Mattson made up a story about a St. Urho. The women of the store threw a party in the coffee room and Gene McCavic wrote a poem for St. Urho. And thus the legend began.

In 1956, the media got a hold of it. The local paper, the Mesabi Daily News, wrote about it and in the years since St. Urho has been featured in newspapers around the country.

The legend and holiday we know today is a little different than Richard Mattson originally told it. First of all, the celebration was originally supposed to be in May, but Finns wanted to move it to rival St. Patrick's day and get a head start on the green beer (no doubt the next day they will suddenly be Irish like most of the country). More notably, Mattson's original tale told of how Urho used his powerful voice, which he obtained by drinking "feelia sour" (sour whole milk) and "kala mojakka" (fish soup), to cast out poisonous frogs from Finland. Somehow Dr. Sulo Havumäki, a psychology professor at Bemidji State College (now Bemidji State University) had influence over the legend and the story changed to grasshoppers. Some even credit Havumäki as the creator of the legend. His name is on the plaque below the St. Urho statue.

Richard Mattson passed away in 2001, but his legend of St. Urho lives on. St. Urho's Day is celebrated in a number of Minnesota towns, including Finland, MN (they have an Urho sculpture too), and in Finnish towns across the country, like Butte, MT and Hood River, OR and several others. The legend has even spread into Canada and reached all the way back to Finland, where you can find more than one St. Urho's Pub.

In 1975, the city of Menahga commissioned a Minneapolis sculptor to carve a statue of Urho out of a 1-ton block of oak, but they got swindled. Dude must have been a contractor. In 1982, a traveling chainsaw sculptor named Jerry Ward took the block and created a 12-foot tall sculpture of St. Urho holding a pitch fork with a giant grasshopper speared on the end of it. That carving took a beating from the weather and termites and was replaced by the current fiberglass recreation. The old wood carved statue was moved to a mausoleum in a local cemetery.

For more info:
St. Urho on Wikipedia
Roadside America

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bunyan News

Brainerd's Babe the Blue Ox, at Paul Bunyan Land, is currently undergoing major renovations. The work began on July 21st and is supposed to be completed within 1 month. Josh Porter of Avalon Studios is the artist in charge of the renovation work.

It's sounds to me like Babe is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis. He hits his 50's and then starts getting major work done. And I thought he had been aging rather gracefully.

Babe the Yellow Ox?
This picture was taken August 3rd.

There's a new Paul in town. This summer a new Paul Bunyan statue was put in place in the Pequot Lakes - Jenkins area. He stands 12'8" tall and was created by Josh Porter. He is located near the intersection of Highway 371 and County Road 16 by the A-Pine Restaurant.

For more information, go here. You can learn about the process for creating Paul here, it includes pictures.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pine City Voyageur

August 2nd, 2008 - Pine City, MN

Pine City Voyageur

From Mora we headed to Pine City. In Pine City's Riverside Park, on the banks of the Snake River, stands this 35-foot tall voyageur. According to a Roadside America tipster, "...the Voyageur is dedicated to the history of the early settlers of the Pine County area. It marks the city's beginnings as a trading post for the French Voyageurs and Indians."

This voyageur is a chainsaw carving and was carved from a massive redwood tree, rather than pine.....go figure, by Dennis Roghair. Some other towns probably would have had a giant cityscape carved out of pine instead to celebrate Pine City, but not this one. They went in a completely different direction and used redwood.

Pine City Voyageur

It's rather impressive in person. The sheer size of this is hard to convey with a photograph and the details are incredible. Look at the fingers. Here is a much larger version of that last photo. You can really see the details in that one.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

World's Largest Dala Horse

August 2nd, 2008 - Mora, MN

World's Largest Dala Horse

Well, it may not actually be the World's Largest Dala Horse, but I'll get to that later.

This weekend we had a family party thing with my wife's family at a cabin in the woods near Hinckley. We arrived there Friday evening and set up camp. We were tenting it for the weekend. The party wasn't until Saturday, so we figured we had some time Saturday morning to go and see 2 or 3 Big Stuffs in the area before too many people start showing up. That morning we headed out to Mora.

The Dala horse, or Dalecarlian horse or Dalahäst, is a traditional wooden statuette and toy. It is a symbol of Sweden and, more prominently, a symbol of the Dalarna region of Sweden where it is said to have originated. There is a legend that the Dala horse became the national toy in 1716 after Swedish solders fighting under King Charles XII were forced to seek quarters in homes in the Dalarna region and carved the wooden horses as gifts for their hosts.

World's Largest Dala Horse

Mora, Sweden is at the center of the Dalarna Province and the center of the Dala horse craft. Mora, Minnesota is the sister city of Mora, Sweden. In 1971, the Mora (Minnesota) Jaycees built this giant Dala horse. The plaque below the horse reads:
This is a replica of the Dalecarlian horse, hand carved in Mora, Sweden since the 1840's. It was built by the Mora Jaycees in 1971 and presented to this community as a reminder of their cultural heritage and as a tourist attraction.

This Dala horse is made from fiberglass and stands 22-feet tall, 17-feet long, and 6-feet wide and weighs about 3000 pounds. There is another Dala horse in Minot, ND that appears to be similar in size. I don't have dimensions for that one. There is a Dala horse in Avesta, Sweden that, from what information I've been able to gleam from the internet, is about 13 meters tall, which would be 42.6 feet. That would dwarf the Mora horse. It seems the moniker of "World's Largest" can be a hard thing to shed or say goodbye to, whatever the case may be, once you've been surpassed.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Beach Dude

July 26th, 2008 - Hampton, MN

Beach Guy

Just north of Hampton on Highway 50 (aka Hampton Blvd) you will find this 26-foot tall man in nothing but bermuda shorts, apparently lending a hand on a rock delivery at Tom Eilen and Sons Trucking. The Beach Dude is a creation of FAST Corp and this is not the only one in existence. There are a few others around, but only a few. I do not know the history behind this one. All I know is that it's just a little bizarre, which is why it's fantastic.

He has a Viking friend too. If you look closely, you can see him in the background of the picture above. He is 11-feet tall and is also a creation of FAST. Both of these guys, a couple old trucks, and a small gorilla are all part of a landscaping display at the trucking business.


Tip: If you are wondering what type of crushed rock goes best with your very own 26-foot tall half naked fiberglass man, then this is the place for you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Soundtrack: Big Chair

It's time to add another song to the growing Big Stuff Soundtrack. The newest addition is "Big Chair" by Travis (it's a band, not just 1 guy). It makes perfect sense for the soundtrack, plus we've already been to a big chair.

Here is a YouTube video of the song. Well it's not so much a video as it is the lyrics of the song as the song plays.

The song is also currently up at their MySpace page.

The playlist so far:
Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota - Weird Al Yankovic
Stevie Nix - The Hold Steady
Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight (or Heavy D & the Boyz)
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
An Ear For Baby - The Thermals
Minneapolis - That Dog
Minnesota - The Push Stars
Minnesota - The Mountain Goats
Say Shh... - Atmosphere
We Got as Far as Minnesota - Kind of Like Spitting
Minnesota Moon - The Big Wu
Minnesota - Northern Light
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi - Radiohead
Big Fish - 3 Minute Hero
Spin The Globe - Reel Big Fish
Please Come Back - Catfish Haven
Fishing For a Dream - Turin Brakes
Big Chair - Travis

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Big Update

The Wadena Ice Cream Cone is alive and well. It's at a new location and had some work done to it and it looks fantastic. The cone is located south of Wadena on Hwy 71, somewhere between Wadena and Hewitt. Thanks to World's Largest Things (more links on the left) for spotting it and sharing.

Picture by worldslargestthings

Also, I've added a giant hobo to the map. The hobo is at Hobo Park in Starbuck. It's a campground on Lake Minnewaska and next to the marina. Starbuck is also home to the World's Largest Lefse. Unfortunately, you cannot see the lefse...because they ate it, but there is a commemorative photo hanging at the old depot in Starbuck and some of the utensils used, included the giant roller.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Giant Metal Otter

June 29th, 2008 - Ottertail, MN

Giant Metal Otter

Ottertail is not only the home of the World's Largest Dragonfly, it is also home to a giant metal otter, which makes sense. It's kind of like why Pelican Rapids has pelicans all over the place and the World's Largest Pelican, or like Deerwood having a giant deer. This otter is very large, however, it is not the World's Largest Otter. That belongs to nearby Fergus Falls. I hope Ottertail doesn't have a case of otter envy.

This otter is very unique. It is another art piece by the scrap metal artist Ken Nyberg. We have seen Nyberg's work earlier in New York Mills and earlier on this trip in Vining.

Giant Metal Otter - detail
The otter grasps a fish beneath it's right, front foot.

The otter is easy to find. Just turn onto 108 from 78 and it will be on the north side of the road.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

World's Largest Dragonfly

June 29th, 2008 - Ottertail, MN

World's Largest Dragonfly

After tracking down Our Lady Of The Hills, we headed north to the town of Ottertail. Ottertail is a small town of about 450 people on Otter Tail Lake in Otter Tail Township in Otter Tail County. Ottertail is where the World's Largest Dragonfly calls home. This is why the World's Largest Mosquito is not in Ottertail, but rather 180 miles away in Effie.

The Dragonfly sits at a plant store right along highway 78 and lends a hand (or a wing or 4) by holding some hanging plants. The Dragonfly was built on a frame with wheels and a hitch, making it very portable. It has been known to moonlight as a parade float.

World's Largest Dragonfly

Tip: Befriend the Dragonfly, it may help protect you from the mosquitoes, which would be good because you may mistake the mosquitoes for small birds.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Our Lady Of The Hills

June 29th, 2008 - Urbank, MN

Our Lady Of The Hills

While we were in Vining, we saw this sign with all of the roadside sculptures on the Otter Tail Scenic Byway. We were looking at the sign and basically going, "Got it. Got it. Going to get it. Got it. What?" We had never heard of Our Lady Of The Hills. We were very excited, naturally. Then we had to figure out if we should get it now or some other time. The plan had been to go from Vining north to Ottertail. Our Lady was, what we figured, about 12 miles south and was possible to get on a slight side trip off of I-94 someday. We ultimately decided to just go and see it now and wound up back tracking a bit later to get to Ottertail.

Otter Tail Scenic Byway Roadside Sculptures

Our Lady Of The Hills stands 22 feet tall. The plaque on the base reads:



I don't know exactly what that means. Did somebody promise a giant statue to someone if they healed somebody's cancer? Seems a bit odd.

Our Lady Of The Hills

Our Lady Of The Hills is located (out in the middle of nowhere) about a mile from Inspiration Peak, the highest point of the Leaf Mountains and the Alexandria Moraine. Minnesota native Sinclair Lewis once said of Inspiration Peak, "there's to be seen a glorious 20-mile circle of some 50 lakes scattered among fields and pastures, like sequins fallen on an old paisley shawl."

We pulled up to the trail head for Inspiration Peak, but we were unsure what the hike was like and were not prepared for much of a hike at all, so we passed on it.

Tip: I don't recommend trying to visit Our Lady Of The Hills in the winter. It's located on a gravel road in the middle of the country, the entire area is hilly, the roads are curvy, the winter weather there can get real nasty, and I don't know if Lady Of The Hills Road gets plowed much. Unless, of course, you are travelling by snowmobile, then I think I do recommend it.

Lady of the Hills Road
Lady Of The Hills Road taken from below the statue, facing east.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Vining Sculpture Park

June 29th, 2008 - Vining, MN

Coffee Cup

After checking out all the pelicans, we headed out for some Big Stuff hunting. Our first target was Vining, home of artist Ken Nyberg. Nyberg creates incredible sculptures by shaping and welding pieces of scrap metal. We have seen a Nyberg piece before. He did the giant art tractor in New York Mills. Nyberg has created many sculptures for his hometown of Vining, so many that there is a park in his name, Nyberg Park. Not all of Nyberg's Vining pieces are in the park. There are a few that are scattered around this small town. Some of his sculptures are Big Stuff, some are actual size stuff, and some are both.

The Foot

The Foot might be the most famous piece. It sits on the west side of town (which is very close to the east side of town). The Foot was sculpted in 10 gauge steel and was donated to the town in 1991. It took Nyberg 2 years to complete.



Giant Chain


Metal Elephant

This elephant is really cool. It's big and actual size. It's different from his other work in that this elephant is made entirely out of lawnmower blades.

Square Knot

Giant Cactus Plant

The non-Big Stuff items around Vining are a little green alien, a buck, which is kind of big, a blacksmith (Could it be a self portrait?), a speared fish, an Indian on horseback, a cowboy (not pictured), and a tribute to his daughter.

Confused Metal Alien Buck Ray Self Portrait? Horseback Indian

Karen Nyberg: Astronaut

Ken Nyberg's daughter is Karen Nyberg, who is a NASA Astronaut. She has been to the International Space Station on two separate occasions.

Tip: I actually think we may have missed a couple sculptures. I think there may be a plug and cord thing and a door knob.