This 14 foot tall Paul Bunyan statue stands in a donkey pasture overlooking Pennyrile Parkway in rural Kentucky. These smaller statues are rarer than the 20 foot tall models. In 2011, someone saw the statue and posted a photo of it at RoadsideAmerica.com. This Muffler Man was missing his arms and had a crude looking head.
When I got a chance to see this statue for myself, I noticed that the International Fiberglass label on its leg had been sanded off and painted over. A plaster and burlap bag serves as the statue’s head. An axe hangs from the statue’s right arm socket. This statue has a lot of cracks and breaks which have been patched together with old road signs and screws. The owners are interested in finding replacement parts and would like to restore the statue.
This statue was produced in the late 1960s. However, it is not known where it was first installed. By the early 1990s, the statue stood at Pistol Pete’s Pawn Shop in Fort Campbell, KY. At that point, the statue was already missing its head and arms. The owner of the store, Robert Ladd, still owns the building. However, I have been unsuccessful in locating him. I searched the former pawn shop property and was not able to find any trace of the statue’s head or arms.
When the pawn shop closed in 1995, the statue was sold at auction. The man that bought him was having trouble loading the statue into his school bus. That’s when the couple from Mortons Gap bought it. They loaded the Muffler Man into their Ford Ranger and made the 40 mile drive home with the statue’s legs and feet sticking out the back of the truck. The statue has been standing on the hillside pasture since then. Although it is located on private property, there is an unobstructed view of it from the highway.
If you have any photos or information about this statue’s history, please write a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also currently running a Kickstarter to restore this Muffler Man and need your help!