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July 14, 2010

Pierre the Pantless Voyageur in Two Harbors

Filed under: History, Travel — Mary Poggione @ 2:10 am

Pierre the VoyageurAccording to the Duluth News Tribune, the future of icon Pierre the Voyageur (also known as Pierre the Pantless Voyageur) in Two Harbors, Minnesota, is uncertain.

Currently, he stands proud though paddleless in an unused parking lot, often posing for pictures with visitors to the North Shore.

Per the Duluth News Tribune:

“Pierre the Voyageur was born 50 years ago as a way of reminding people of the frontier historical past in Two Harbors. The 20-foot statue was also a large advertisement for a new business in town: Stanley Nelson’s Voyageur Museum and Voyageur Motel.

“It was classic hucksterism as more Americans took to the road in the late 1950s and into the 1960s, looking for wayside curiosities along the way.

“Nelson’s businesses are long gone, but Pierre stands tall off Highway 61 on the west end of town. His longevity and years of producing photo memories for passers-by has made him a Two Harbors legend.

“But Pierre stands apart today, surrounded by nothing but a vacant lot. He’s still a draw for the road-weary, but many wonder what his future looks like after a failed attempt to revitalize the area in which he stands.”

There is talk of possibly moving Pierre, as demonstrated by an interview done with Pierre himself and the Two Harbors Chronicle:

“Q Any thoughts about the idea of moving you to what is expected to be a new visitors center over by Culver’s?

“A Well, I’ve been looking at this view of the cemetery and the ore docks and train yard for 50 years. It’s hard to imagine looking at something else after all that time. But it would make me proud to be a more official part of welcoming people to Two Harbors and the North Shore. And, really, sometimes change is good.”

To show your support, visit Pierre the Pantless Voyageur’s Facebook page. Yes, he has a Facebook page.

For information on actual voyageurs, check out the classic books by Grace Lee Nute, The Voyageur and The Voyageur’s Highway.

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