Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The leaping deer of Deerwood August 24, 2021

Leaping whitetail deer art in Deerwood, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo July 2021.

I APPRECIATE OUTDOOR public art. That includes kitschy roadside sculptures that define communities. The walleye in Garrison. The prairie chicken in Rothsay. The otter in Fergus Falls. Babe the Blue Ox in countless Up North Minnesota towns.

And in Deerwood, a Crow Wing County community of around 550, a leaping whitetail deer. The jumping deer, located in Elmer Park, is visible from Highway 6. I snapped a shot of it from the road last trip through this town in mid-July.

A little poking around online revealed that Deerwood was originally known as Withington. But, after being too often confused with Worthington in the southwestern corner of Minnesota, it was officially named Deerwood. That makes sense given its location among the lakes and hardwoods of central Minnesota where deer abound.

I learned a bit more history. Cuyler Adams of Deerwood discovered the iron ore which led to mining in this region. Thus the name Cuyuna Range—a combination of Adams’ first name and the name of his dog, Una.

Oh, the things you learn upon seeing, and photographing, a memorable deer sculpture next to a roadway.

TELL ME: Do you have a favorite roadside sculpture? I’d like to hear.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

21 Responses to “The leaping deer of Deerwood”

  1. Washe Koda Says:

    Jeepers ❗️ that looks cooler then the giant Walleye in front of the bank up in Isle, MN 🙂

  2. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    Yes, THE Big (fill in the blank) are great Australian icons. The ones I can think of make this deer look puny. The Big Pineapple, Big Koala, Big Merino are all multi-floors high – climb the steps and view up the street from the Merino’s eyes. There are also the Big Banana, Big Prawn (shrimp), and Golden Guitar. I have seen all these except the guitar.

  3. Valerie Says:

    These are fun facts I will pass on to my aunt and uncle who live near Deerwood (mailing address is Deerwood). We stopped by their place on our way home from Pequot Lakes. They are in their 90’s and still living on their own in a beautiful home with property on Bay Lake. On Sunday they are celebrating 71 years of marriage at their church in Crosby.

    My favorite roadside sculpture is not roadside but lakeside…on Daggett Lake. There is a large loon sculpture on a point that jets out into the lake. It’s fun!

  4. Chuck Hess Says:

    How about this one

    Nyberg Sculpture Park In Minnesota Is A Truly Unique Roadside Attraction (onlyinyourstate.com)

    On Tue, Aug 24, 2021 at 1:06 PM Minnesota Prairie Roots wrote:

    > Audrey Kletscher Helbling posted: ” Leaping whitetail deer art in > Deerwood, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo July > 2021. I APPRECIATE OUTDOOR public art. That includes kitschy roadside > sculptures that define communities. The walleye in Garrison. The prairie c” >

  5. Sandra Says:

    I’m partial to the No. St. Paul snowman. Actually, MN is a very artsy state. Many good, fun ones.

  6. JanBeek Says:

    Thanks for the history on Deerwood. Very interesting! My favorite roadside sculpture is a bronze statue of a fisherman here in Ennis, MT. It is right at the place where 287 merges with Main Street, strategic and inviting. You should Google it – I think most images of Ennis, MT include that sculpture.

  7. I love when I get art, location details, and history. I love the unexpected vista, art, etc. When we lived out west I stated we needed a bumper sticker that stated “makes frequent stops” when out exploring. I would especially love when someone would stop because we stopped and then had no idea what we were looking at – what one can spy with their eyes. I love a good story and the history of places too. Happy Exploring – Enjoy 🙂

  8. You know I do and that. is a great deer! It makes me smile!

  9. Neil Says:

    Dakota Thunder (AKA The World’s Largest Buffalo), just off of I-94 in Jamestown, ND was the first to come to mind.


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