7 Interesting Characters You Might Have Seen Up North

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox – Minocqua

You probably know who these two characters are, but do you know where they live? This particular Paul and this particular Babe stand right in front of Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty in Minocqua, of course! After you take your selfie with Paul and Babe, head inside this popular Northwoods dining tradition to enjoy the famous flapjacks or camp fried potatoes.

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Lakenenland – Marquette, Michigan

This is just one of many outstanding sculptures built by Tom Lakenen that stand in Lakenenland, a metal sculpture park located 15 miles east of Marquette, Michigan. Lakenen started constructing sculptures more than 20 years ago, as a creative outlet to support his commitment to health and sobriety. There are now more than 80 sculptures in Lakenenland, which is open year round and free of charge to visitors. (Donations are always appreciated though.)


Wisconsin Concrete Park – Phillips

Here you can see just three of the 237 embellished concrete and mixed media sculptures in the Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips. Every sculpture in this outdoor museum was created by a retired lumberjack and self-taught artist, Fred Smith (1886–1976). The Wisconsin Concrete Park encompasses Smith’s property and features life-sized and larger-than-life sculptures of people and animals, set in vignettes depicting regional and national history, local lore, and imaginative happenings. Admission to the site is free, but donations are appreciated.

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World's Largest Penny – Woodruff

Surely you know this face (the Abe that Old Abe was named after), but did you know that this particular likeness is The World's Largest Penny? Standing in Woodruff, just a few miles away from downtown Minocqua, The World’s Largest Penny commemorates a fundraising feat. In 1953, Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb (1885–1956) asked local children to save pennies to donate to the town’s efforts to build a hospital. The story was aired on television, and viewers from all over the country sent in their pennies (1.7 million in total). Dr. Pelham's campaign was a success! Not only was the hospital built, but later the Dr. Kate Museum was built to honor this inspiring and influential woman, known locally as an "angel on snowshoes."

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Old Abe – Park Falls

Old Abe is arguably the most famous Wisconsin eagle, commemorated in statues throughout the state. Old Abe was a bald eagle presented to Company C of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War. Named in honor of President Lincoln, Old Abe learned commands and led Company C into 22 battles and 30 skirmishes. Old Abe lived for 20 years and become a celebrated war hero, with his own apartment in the basement of the capitol building. Unfortunately, he died due to an illness caused by inhaling smoke during a fire in the basement of the capitol. This particular Old Abe statue watches over Veterans Memorial Park in Park Falls.

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Corrugated Tube Man – Park Falls

This corrugated tube man stands on Highway 182 in Park Falls. His whereabouts and accessories have changed over the years. While early photos show him carrying a corrugated tube, he now dons a bold hat and carries a rifle and a rabbit.

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The Hodag – Rhinelander

Do you recognize this fierce grin? It’s none other than the Hodag, the fabled fearsome creature purported to be found in the Northwoods. The lore is centered Rhinelander, which is where this particular Hodag resides. You can visit the Hodag in front of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce.