Tall Tales

Johnny Inkslinger's Great Invention

As a numbers genius, Johnny Inkslinger invented a stopwatch that timed to an atomic accuracy, even though atoms were not known to exist until years later.

The antique stopwatch is still used today to time the annual Pequot Lakes Antique Snowmobile Race.

The True Story Behind Pequot's Historic Fire Tower

Many people think that the Pequot Fire Tower that sits high a top the hill just East of town was built by the DNR so foresters could watch the surrounding area for forest fires. But I have discovered the fire towers original purpose was much different.

The Birth of the Paul Bunyan Tradition

Many of you know about Paul Bunyan’s fishing trip and his monumentous battle with notorious Nate. The biggest- meanest Northern in the five state area. When Paul started out on that trip he never realized the problems, benefits and changes he would create for the little town of Pequot.

Paul Bunyan Creates the Word, 'Star'

Paul Bunyan was the greatest logger ever known. Everyone knows that. But, Paul was also a student of physiology. One of the most fascinating phenomenon for Paul was the eyeball press and the always reliable and beautiful mental color show that followed. Without any movie theaters or TV, finding psychedelic color was next to impossible, so Paul had perfected the truly free-of-charge entertainment of eyeball pressing. He taught all his men the technique, and everybody looked forward to what might be called 'movie night' at least once a week.

Paul Discovers the Perfect Gift

Few people know that Paul Bunyan's own mother visited her son's logging camp every year at Christmas. And, every year, Paul would fidget himself into a stew, trying to settle on just the right gift for her. This fidgeting created so much tension in the air that shards of evergreens fell off their branches, leaving only needle-shaped leaves, which we still see today.

The Creation Of The 10,000 Lakes

This is the tale of how Minnesota's 10,00 lakes came to be. One day Paul Bunyan had his blue ox Babe tied up because he had been bad. Paul went off to do some logging, and Babe tried to get free. Paul came back and Babe ripped himself free of the chains that he was being held by. Paul Bunyan chased Babe all over Minnesota, and the blue ox and Paul Bunyan left their footprints all over Minnesota. Then it began to start raining heavily, and all of the footprints filled with water. This is how the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota were created. This was the way I remember it being told to me.

The Plaid Duck Sheds His Cape

Now fall was in the air and Paul Bunyan decided it was time he went south to meet this guy, Tony Beaver, whom he had heard so much about. You've probably heard of Tony too. Just about the same time Paul was logging the Upper Midwest, Tony was logging in West Virginia and all the timberlands in the south.

Wooden Baby Boots

Paul Bunyan's wooden baby boots reside in the Pine River Chamber of Commerce Information Center in Pine River. How they arrived there is an interesting tale of Bunyan proportions.

It seems that when Paul Bunyan was born, times were tough, as they most always were for the hardy loggers who worked in the northern Minnesota forests. It took most of Paul's family's monthly wages just to buy flour and sugar and the other basic necessities of life.

A Savory Soup Tale

Paul Bunyan was a powerful giant and famous throughout Minnesota for his great physical strength, as well as his healthy appetite.

Paul and his trusty sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox, could cut down acres of timber single-handedly in just a few minutes by tying his huge ax to the end of a long rope and swinging it in circles. Babe could haul the logs away as fast as Paul could cut them.

Paul Bunyan Beginnings, the Research

James Stevens, in his 1925-copyrighted book entitled, Paul Bunyan, shares with us a heavily researched introduction to the origination of the Paul Bunyan tales. Previous to his publication, James MacGillivray, a reporter for the Detroit News, had collected the tales orally. MacGillivray published them in July 1910, as a book he called, The Round River Drive.

Here are some highlights from Mr. Stevens’ introduction: