“Largest mascot in the state”
St. Maries’ Heyburn Elementary School mascot, the largest in the state, has an interesting backstory. Standing 22-feet tall in front of the school, the lumberjack is a former oil company marketing ploy turned mascot. Half a century ago, the Texaco Oil Company produced these so-called “Big Friend” statues to promote their “Big Friend Service,” which included windshield cleaning, and oil, radiator, and battery checks. 300 of the fiberglass statues were erected across the country, but after only a few months, service stations complained about how difficult it was to move the statues—not to mention the fact that they were also falling over during bad weather. It’s unclear how the statue arrived at the Heyburn Elementary (some say it was supposed to be installed at the Texaco across from the school but was rejected since it was missing the feet, others say he was simply found in a field in 1967). Either way, the service man was transformed into a lumberjack by local artists, and has since become a beloved symbol of the city.
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Heyburn Elementary School
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