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Earl ‘The Blue Man,’ New Town’s favorite cowboy, gets a makeover

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT
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NEW TOWN, N.D. – Many small towns have one, a statue or monument that becomes a town staple.

If you have been in New Town, you may be familiar with Earl ‘The Blue Man’. Built in 1958, the statue of Paul Bunyan’s brother has seen better days but is underway in getting a new facelift.

Turn at ‘The Blue Man’ is something you may hear when you are in New Town.

“When I first came here 10 years ago, the first directions I ever got was to turn at ‘The Blue Man’. So, this was literally the first landmark I’ve ever known when I got to North Dakota,” said Bogdan Chivaran, the contractor for the restoration.

“All the oil workers for sure, when they want directions for something in New Town, ‘Where is it from ‘The Blue Man’?’,” said William Wilber, a member of the New Town Chamber of Commerce.

The town’s icon has been under restoration the last few weeks.

“When we tapped the elbow with a hammer, the whole arm came down and most of the rest of it you see down, was just tapping the hammer here and there and it would just crumble off. It was pretty bad,” said Chivaran.

Giving Earl a new face but keeping the history behind it.

“It brings out the history of the New Town area and western North Dakota- the cowboy kind of mentality. There is a lot of ranching around and it’s not surprising to see a statue of a cowboy,” said Wilber.

In just about two weeks, the brand-new Earl will be revealed and ready to be the town’s favorite icon again.

The overall restoration process will cost around $20,000.

The town received a $10,000 grant from the Job Development Authority from Mountrail County and the New Town Chamber of Commerce matched the grant for the project.

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