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Christian Brothers Hockey "Big Stick" - Eveleth, MN

Christian Stick Moving Sept 14, 1995

The crew of Christian Brothers Hockey Sticks, formerly of Warroad/Roseau, MN was made up of Bill, Roger and Gordy Christian with the help of Bill's grandson and Roger's son.  They built the "Big Stick" in August, 1995 taking 500 man hours to complete.  On September 7, 1995, the stick was loaded onto a Kirscher Trucking flatbed semi and transported from Warroad to Eveleth and was hauled free of charge.  The four hour trip required a full Minnesota Highway Patrol escort since all traffic had to be re-routed to the shoulder of the highway to allow for the sticks passage.  

On September 14, 1995, the stick was lifted and secured in it's present position through the donations of many local contractors' time and equipment.  The site of the stick is located in a grassy lot on Eveleth's Main Street and Grant Ave. its park-like setting is being maintained by a local area business.  In addition, lighting is being provided by the area's electric utility free of charge.

To add to the attraction, a built-to-scale hockey puck was donated that is 5ft. by 20in. and weighs 700lbs.  A 30ft. high by 80ft. wide mural of a goalie poised to stop a puck adorns the wall of the building across the street.  On September 16, 1995 the stick was dedicated, with much fanfare to the hockey players of the past, present, future, and to the Spirit of Hockey in Eveleth.

Big Stick Dedication Ceremony

After the Mesabi Daily News broke the story originally, news of the hockey stick went nation-wide through the Associated Press and even made the Washington Post.  The stick has drawn a constant flow of on-lookers, touchers and photographers since.  On July 3, 2001 the original Big Stick was removed from it's supports due to material degradation and structural integrity concerns.  In September of 2001, City of Eveleth determined that a replacement stick would be the most effective solution.  The following summer on June 18, 2002 their was a buzz of excitement as news traveled that the new Big Stick was en route from Wisconsin and would arrive a day earlier than anticipated.  The new stick - still adorned with the original Christian USA markings - was actually manufactured by Sentinel Structures, Inc., of Peshtigo Wisconsin and was designed using treated lumber laminate with adhesives similar to exterior plywood construction applications.  The new stick weighed 10,000 pounds (5 tons),  measured at 110 ft. long, and was again given a State Patrol escort to downtown Eveleth, just as the original back in 1995.  In an effort to offset the costs of replacing the original "Big Stick" a partnership between the City and the Chamber of Commerce was created to offer authentic pieces of the original stick for a $5.00 donation.  These pieces of the original stick are now a rare find, and highly collectable.

Faux hockey boards back-drop mural

In the summer of 2014, the City of Eveleth re-designed the park where the big sticks lies with a new decorated and photo adorned faux hockey dasher back-drop with several images of Eveleth's hockey legends.

The Stick Itself

  • Utilizing the identical process that they use to build their standard sized hockey sticks, right down to the CHRISTIAN USA logo, Christian Brothers built the 107 foot stick of white and yellow aspen with a finished weight of 7,000 pounds.
  • New big stick was 110 ft. long and weighs 10,000 pounds (5 tons) and was designed using treated lumber laminate with adhesives similar to exterior plywood construction applications.
  • The shaft is 15 inches thick by 22 inches wide by 90 feet long and needed 30 laminations to complete.
  • The blade is 4 inches think by 66 inches wide by 17 feet long
  • The stick was submitted to the World Books of Records in November, 1995.

Note:  Canada does have a wooden sculpture of a hockey stick that is longer, and heavier but it was turned down by the World Book of Records since the sculpture is not a real hockey stick. 

Circa 1995

Downtown Eveleth Big Stick & Mural Panorama Circa 2009