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.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Paul Bunyan's Anchor, or The World's Largest Coat Hanger

September 22, 2009 - Ortonville, MN

Paul Bunyan's Anchor

We were a little disappointed with this one. We were hoping for something a bit more anchory. While I'm sure it's effective, it looks more like a hanger made from a huge slab of granite and some giant chain links.

The legend goes that Paul Bunyan was quite the fisherman and that Big Stone Lake was one of his favorite lakes to fish in. According to the plaque, "Big Stone Lake, visible here to the north-west, and the state's 10th largest, was one of Paul's favorites, not only for the variety and size of its fish, but because here he found a stone heavy enough to anchor his mammoth boat. Squared roughly from the region's famous granite, it weighed 110 tons." It goes on to say that this anchor was (conveniently) rediscovered on the eve of Minnesota's statehood centennial in 1958 and then was hoisted to the hilltop it now resides on as a memento of the state's 100th birthday.

Now this is a lovely story, but it seems to me that it has one Bunyan sized hole in it. Big Stone Lake is a large lake covering 12,610 acres and stretching 26 miles long, but it is a really shallow lake. At it's max, Big Stone Lake is only 16 feet deep. I would think a boat big enough to carry Paul alone would displace enough water that he would be scraping the bottom, if not completely stuck, but then you add a 110 ton rock too. I don't think that boat is going to be able to navigate Big Stone Lake. I wonder what happened to his boat... and boat trailer.

On the plus side. The anchor is next to the county museum. We didn't go in the actual museum, but they had some kind of wild bird exhibit thing in a separate building that was actually very interesting. They had a large and varied collection of taxidermied birds and an informational CD about 10 minutes long to guide you through the collection.

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