in Salem, the 22-foot 23 carat gold leaf covered lumberjack known as Oregon Pioneer began his momentous cross-country trek in New Jersey.
Sculpted in 1938 by Ulrich Ellerhusen, the Pioneer was created for Salem’s new capitol building after their previous one was destroyed by fire in 1935. He allegedly traveled through the Panama Canal and reached Salem by railroad.
Facing north and clutching an axe and a tarp, he peers westward and strikes a pose that suitably evokes the rugged frontier spirit of the state of Oregon and its surrounding regions.
Who would have guessed that the brawny golden paragon of the Pacific Northwest was originally a Jersey boy? Now, if only we can find a Colonial-clad statue overlooking Trenton that was crafted in the woodlands of Oregon, a swap could somehow be negotiated by the appropriate authorities thereby aligning the moon and stars once again.