The New Town North Dakota Web page featuring Earl Bunyon and The Soo Line Engine
Earl Bunyon, Paul Bunyan's brother, was dreamed up by Fred and Berd
LaRocque in 1958.
The restoration of the statue of Earl Bunyon in New Town
is now complete, and, I believe that old Earl has never looked better!
Earl has always looked like a long drink of water. Wearing tight-fitting
blue jeans with cuffs, he looks as if he might enjoy a few hearty meals
to put some weight on. I would estimate Earl's height at over 20 feet,
and he is now holding a branding iron. Like many people who have
made slight changes in their names, Earl changed the spelling of his last
from Bunyan to Bunyon when he moved west.
Both Fred & Berd have been dead for some time, and the statue also
serves as a marker for their grave site there.
I grew up about 10 miles away from the statue of Earl. Fred and Berd
operated a small museum in an adjacent building (I believe its the one
you see on the left of the photo). The museum was filled with native-
american artifacts, but is long gone.
A round disk about 4 ft. in diameter marks the site, and there is a
description of the statue and how it originated.
Fred & Berd were early residents of the area, moving there after the
Missouri River was dammed and New Town began in about 1954.The
statue of Cowboy Earl greets visitors to New Town arriving from the
East. Interestingly, New Town really marks a dividing line between the
region of western North Dakota primarily devoted to farming small
grains and the cowboy and ranching country further west and south.
The Soo Line Steam Train Engine
Just a block or so further down the street is a steam train engine donated
by the Soo Line Railroad and maintained by the city. The Engine has
been recently repainted and appears to be in excellent condition. Lights
on the engine are on, and on the day I visited the engine had American
Flags as decorations. This is a "must see" stop for lovers of steam
engines. The City of Minot, 75 miles away, also has a steam engine on
display. I believe that one is a Great Northern, however.
Comments, corrections or additions should be mailed to David L. Debertin
I was a resident of the area for my first 20 years, but currently reside
in Lexington, KY.