July 22, 2015

Comic tells story of New Town’s Earl Bunyan

by Edna Sailor

Tucked away for safe keeping in the New Town City Hall display case, is a fragile, yellowed booklet authored by Fred LaRocque and complete with drawings by Eldon Jacobsen. The booklet outlines the totally "made up" life of Earl Bunyan. The front cover bears a hand drawn, colorful likeness of the statue located on the East end of Town. The back cover depicts a colorful, sketch of the Four Bears Bay and Bridge. A small insert shows Earl Bunyan saying, "New Town is my town." There is a drawing of a banana with the words, "Banana Belt USA" with the insert.

There is a forward on the inside cover of the book which reads:

"Earl Bunyan, a mythical character, known as the younger brother to nationally famous Paul Bunyan, was dreamed up by New Town’s Fred Larocque, an early day cowboy who rode the range in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota. Herein is a sketch of the life of Earl as LaRocque pictures him. At New Town stands a life-size work of Earl as you see him pictured on the front cover. In addition, the LaRocques, Fred and Birdie, operate the Earl Bunyan Museum. The museum is made up of many early day common articles rarely seen today except in such an institution.

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