Paul Bunyan and John Henry

Week 14: American Folklore - Assignments - Reading - Resources - Images


Paul Bunyan

You can see historical photos of the Red River Lumber Company at the Steam in the Woods Logging website. The McCloud California Rails homepage provides some history of the Red River Lumber Company and its expansion into California is available. Westwood California, the Red River Lumber "company town," still has an annual Paul Bunyan Festival.

John Henry

The best place to get started is at the John Henry: The Steel-Driving Man website at iBiblio, a digital public library online.

There are also valuable resources at the NPR: John Henry site, and you can listen to the entire NPR segment about the origins of the "John Henry" songs.

There is a video clip of the 1946 "puppetoon" about John Henry that is available online.

John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead is a novel set in Talcott, West Virginia that moves back and forth between the present day and the times of John Henry (

Polly Ann and John Henry (a theater script, one act): from Multicultural Folktales: Readers Theatre for Elementary Students.

And of course there is a Disney animated short film about John Henry, which is packaged with other Disney short films about Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed and Casey Jones.

John Henry was included in a 1996 US Post Office "Folk Heroes" stamp series with Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and "Casey at the Bat."

Modern Languages / Anthropology 3043: Folklore & Mythology. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
Page last updated: October 9, 2004 12:52 PM