Paul Bunyan's birth as well as the legendary escapades of the mighty logger, Babe the Blue Ox and Paul's mighty loggin' crew are of a matter of public record and well publicized. But few know anything about how good ol' Paul got into loggin' in the first place.
For the last one hundred years or so, there has been some debate about the origin of what has become known as the “ Meteor Rock “ of Ideal. One popular account is by a local resident who states that his father related to him the experience of actually seeing the rock fall from the sky.
Up to now it has been believed that Paul Bunyan was of Swedish descent. However, some old documents found hidden in the National Library in Oslo, indicate that Paul probably had his childhood in Norway. Among these papers there is a tale of a poor couple living on a small farm in Vaagaa in Gundbrandsdal valley. They had many children, and two of the sons, who were half-grown, always had to wander about the countryside begging. So they were familiar with all the roads and trails, and they also knew the short cut to Heidal, the neighbouring valley.
I grew up just north of the Brule River in Iron Co., Michigan during the time when logging began to slow down somewhat in the early part of the last century. The big logging camps were gone, but there were still old-timers about who had worked with Paul Bunyan, and many a cold winter night around a pot-bellied stove us kids would gather to listen to a visitor reel off a story of the grand days of lumberin' with Big Paul back in the 1850's. One story I remember in particular was about a lumberjack who once worked for Paul named Louis de Lune