On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog

 


I got off I 90 at the Blue Earth exit to see the statue of the Jolly Green Giant and find out why the town is called Blue Earth and why the statue is here. All of my questions were answered.

The city of Blue Earth gets its name from the Blue Earth River that circles the town. The river was named for a blue clay that is found high on its banks.

The Jolly Green Giant statue stands as a symbol of the long history the town has with the Green Giant/Seneca Company - the largest producers of corn and peas. The statue is 47.5 feet high atop an 8 ft base - a total of 55 feet. He wears a size 78 shoe, his smile is 48 inches wide and he weighs 8,000 lbs. His "Ho, Ho, Ho has boomed out over these rolling farmlands since 1979" when a radio station owner got the idea for the statue to entice people to get off of I90 and into town ( it got me to do that!) The Giant cost $50,000 - all private donations by local businesses.

Surprise - surprise! Blue Earth is also the home of "Chocolate Dream". Walter Schwen combined candy and ice cream , formed it into a ball, and placed it on a piano wire. He applied for a patent and called it the Chocolate Dream. Lawsuits ensued when two traveling salesmen from Iowa with similar patents came through town. Four years later , in 1921, after an enormous amount of litigation, Walter sold his Chocolate Dream interest for $13,000 to the other two fellows. One of the men, Christian Nelson, later changed the name to Eskimo Pie and the other gentleman went on to start his own candy company. His name? Russell Stover.

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