Despite living a good chunk of my life out of the Bangor area, I was born and raised here. So as long as I can remember, I've always thought the Paul Bunyan statue was awesome. When I was very little, my biggest goal in life was to be big enough to be able to climb the platform and stand by his boot.

And of course, we all learned about him in school. All the stories about how land formations were formed because of him, Babe the Big Blue Ox, the fact that he was 47 axe handles tall. All that stuff. Obviously, I actually paid attention, because I can recall all these little factoids right off the top of my head.

But sadly this week, J. Normand Martin, the man who designed the statue passed away, at the ripe old age of 95. But his story with Paul started back in 1959. Martin was. paid $137 (which wasn't the smallest amount of money back then) to design a small scale model 22 inches high, according to the BDN/Newscenter.

The statue was made by a company out of New York, and not long after, it was put up in its original location on Main Street. A lot of us probably remember it best when it was in front of the old auditorium. It was set back from the road so tourists etc., could safely photograph it.

Here's how most of us remember the statue, in front of the old Auditorium....

Google Maps image

But as far as us Bangorians go, our whole identity as a city owes a lot to that statue. Just by myself, this is the third time I've written about it. On Paul Bunyan Day, June 27, I thought maybe we should be doing more to honor him. I also joked that Paul Bunyan might be Jason Mamoa's father. The resemblance is undeniable.

TSM Bangor/Rich Fury Getty Iamges

At any rate, our hearts go out to the family of J. Normand Martin. But above all, we should thank him. Some towns have nothing special about them at all. But we can all honestly say, if we hear the name Paul Bunyan, we will automatically think of our home sweet home … Bangor.

Bangor A to Z

Bangor is our home, so we try to know as much as we can about it. Here are the ABCs of our beloved Queen City.

You know you're from Bangor when ...

World's Biggest Things in Maine