Yes, there has been a bear sited near Garwin. He is about eight feet four inches tall and is the normal size for a big brown bear. He was seen standing atop an ash tree stump. See if you can spot the bear as you travel in the Garwin area. We will tell you next week where he is residing. Following the July 11, 2011 storm the trees on the farm near Garwin were damaged beyond saving. As the 39 inch diameter tree was being taken down, it was discovered that the tree trunk was solid – no hollow tree here. The owner made the decision to save what he could of the base and as he said, “I wanted a big bear.” It is estimated that the ash tree is well over 100 years old as the rings were counted and they could easily count way more than a century of growth. Mark Roupp was contacted to sculpt the bear. He set up scaffolding and was ready to begin cutting when the owner asked, “Don’t you want to do a drawing or some plans first. He says the response of Roupp was, “There’s a bear in there somewhere – I got to find him.” And he began cutting with his chain saw.” The bear’s owner says, “It took Mark two days, about 16 hours total, and he had it done. He just does this as a hobby.” To finish the bear he was “torched” using torches to burn the wood to the brown bear color. Then a mix of linseed oil and mineral oil was applied and it was all finished with a coat of Min Wax. A neighbor has a chunk of a red cedar tree and plans are to carve a salmon out of that and place the fish in the paw of the bear. Also planned for the future is the construction of a picnic table to surround the entire base of Mr. Bear.
his life size big brown bear actually resides in the front yard of a farm near Garwin. The bear is the result of the artistry of Mark Roupp. The bear was carved from the trunk of a century plus ash tree. Roupp created the bear with no formal plans and he cut the entire bear with only the use of a chain saw. Photo bfy Margaret Thomsen