Colonel Cobber - Backus, MN
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member lenron
N 46° 49.216 W 094° 31.025
15T E 384277 N 5186308
Quick Description: Chain saw carving of Colonel Cobber, corn cob in Backus, MN.
Location: Minnesota, United States
Date Posted: 8/5/2010 7:59:43 PM
Waymark Code: WM9DH6
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 3

Long Description:
This great whimiscal wood carving display is located in downtown Backus MN. The wood carving was done by Chainsaw Artist Ross Olsen of Hackensack.

There is even a legend and tale all about Colonel Cobber and though the photo is hard to read, it says:

The Legend of Colonel Cobber

Col. Cobber was a born salesman. After years of traveling with his medicine show,Col. Cobber chose to settle "up north" where he married the Indian maiden, Tasseltop, on the southern shores of Pine Mountain Lake. They built a small cabin in the woods, surrounded by hundreds of trees. One day when he was walking amongst the many trees, Col. Cobber ran into the one man of which he had heard many legendary feats – none other than Paul Bunyan. Col. Cobber invited Paul to join he and Tasseltop for dinner, and once Paul tasted that first bite, he fell in love with corn on the cob. It’s said he ate over 100 ears that day alone.
Never one to miss a deal, Col. Cobber told Paul that he could grow ears of the sweet corn if only the trees were cleared, and they struck a bargain. Paul cleared some of that land, pulled the stumps out with the help of his Blue Ox, Babe, and the Cobbers began to grow corn. Amazingly, that corn grew and grew in soil that for hundreds of years had only fed trees, and which Babe helped fertilize. The ears became as big as Paul and his wife, Lucette. Paul could only eat two or three ears that size.

Now Tasseltop knew lots of ways to use that corn, so she taught Lucette, the cook at the logging camp, to use it as corn flour, cornmeal, corn syrup, corn pancakes, corn fritters, and even a little corn whiskey for medicinal purposes (of course). They also showed Paul and Lucette that the cobs could be used to fuel the stove during the cold northern winters.

Being the salesman that he was, Col. Cobber looked for more ways to use that corn, but he knew that the forests had to be cleared to grow it. That was when he convinced E. W. Backus to cut down more trees. He also suggested that there were enough trees for Mr. Backus to ship the logs to Kansas City as supplies to build enormous stockyards. Mr. Backus did just that, and the townspeople were so impressed that they named the town Backus – not Cobber.

Col. Cobber continued to grow his corn, but over the years, the soil was depleted of nutrients and the ears got small enough for regular people to enjoy. He continued to sell his ideas, urging anyone who would listen, that corn could be used for even more things – noting that it was the "gold" of the Up North Country. Little did he know that today corn would be used to manufacture biodegradable plastic products and as an additive to gasoline to run cars and trucks. He became known as the "Corn King".

After all those years, the town of Backus finally recognized the efforts of Col. Cobber and decided to honor him with this carving. They wanted an "Up North" décor for it, however, so they asked Ross Olsen of the Flying Squirrel Studio to carve Col. Cobber with his chainsaw. Mr. Olsen found one of the trees still left standing and went to work.

So, here stands Col. Cobber, a monument for the town of Backus and all its visitors to remember the salesman who grew corn. It also commemorates the 30th Anniversary of the Backus Corn Fest, held the second Saturday every August.

By 2006 corn fest committee
Type of wood carving: Chainsaw carving

Artist's Name: Ross Olsen

Approximate size/height: 15 feet

Other type: Not listed

Type of wood: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
All logs must be the result of an actual visit to the wooden carving.
"Visited" only remarks will not be accepted.
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