Paul Bunyan Day of the Upper Tule
Many years ago in order to create interest in our area a group consisting of the owners of Pierpoint Springs, CampNelson, Alpine Village and Sequoia Crest created a organization which is now known as the Upper Tule Organization. We will now refer to it as the Upper Tule.
The Upper Tule using funds supplied by this group, advertised in many journals, particularly in southern California. The group met often trying to find methods to create more and more interest in this beautiful area. There had been a number of logging operations in an extended area. It was now suggested we could have a Paul Bunyan Day. This idea was received with great interest in the local area but also in the logging camps further north. We needed all to participate in the competition to make the events interesting. There was a need now to alert all that might be interested. As a result we had a lot of competition. We now had to share the efforts. Camp Nelson supplied the meadow. Sequoia Crest supplied the equipment to dig the pond and the logs for the numerous events. The Camp Nelson Water Co. supplied the water for the pond.
The log rolling in the pond was the most interesting to the spectators. The competitors needed to have spiks on their boots. Two at a time would jump on one log and each would twirl the log to upset his competitor. This could go on for a few minutes until one would be dumped into the water. Another competitor would jump on the log and the event would go on until the last man was still standing and he would win the event.
There were two events where logs were cut, the first was two men with a crosscut saw. This event was timed so that any two others could also be timed. The winning two would share the prize. The next was cutting the log with an axe, was done by a single man. Another event was throwing an axe to stick it into a log. The distance was increased until all the competitors missed except one who would win the prize.
The Paul Buyan Day was very popular with spectators and with the competitors and as a result the Upper Tule carried it on for two years.
More about our local Paul Bunyan
In the year 1939 a wood carver by the name of Carroll Barnes made the arrangements to get a redwood log from a tree that had grown near Balch Park. This was before the California State bought the acreage that is now known as the Mt. Home State Forest.
At that time my father, Claud Rouch, had a sawmill at this location. I well remember the tree as it fell. I still have the pictures of the log on a trailor on its way to Three Rivers for Carroll Barnes. Once the log became Paul Bunyan is remained in Three Rivers for many years. It was now purchased to stand in front of a large motel in Porterville. It peacefully stood there for many years. The motel was now purchased by another party. This party came upon hard times which gave a group from Three Rivers the opportunity to bring Paul Bunyan back to Three Rivers where he really belongs. He now stands there for all to observe.