Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Charles F. Gritzmen


In June of 1950 Paul Bunyan made his first appearance in Brainerd, Minnesota much to the delight of the local townspeople as well as travelers to the region. Claimed to be the world's largest talking and animated man, Paul has greeted millions to the Brainerd Lakes area and as a result has left each visitor with an unforgettable memory of his or her trip to Brainerd. For over 50 years Paul has continued to entertain his visitors, but unfortunately it looks as though the summer of 2003 will be his last. A centerpiece of the area, Paul is now being pushed aside by economic development. This research considers the cultural impact that Paul Bunyan has made on the Brainerd Lakes region in the last 50 years. It traces the development of the Paul Bunyan legend to the early logging days of the ''Northwest," and the early connection between Paul Bunyan and the town of Brainerd, Minnesota. It considers the creation and the arrival of the Paul Bunyan statue that now resides at the Paul Bunyan Amusement Center at the junction of Minnesota State Highways 210 and 3 71. The study also focuses on the development of the theme park from beginning to the present, the importance of the park to the region, and the current economic and social conditions that may lead to Paul's departure from the area.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Amusement parks -- Minnesota -- Brainerd.
Tourism -- Minnesota -- Brainerd.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright