The chainsaw carvings were created by local woodcarver Pete Ryan who came up with a proposal to carve a dead tree for the city back in 1991. A tree in Memorial Park had been pulled down due to root rot and a large stump was left. Pete carved this into a beautiful 12 foot eagle and it was an instant hit with both the tourists and town folk.
It wasn’t long after that he had made an agreement to carve another 27 carvings around town that were sponsored by local businesses. It has worked out very well with tourists coming every year by the bus load to view the carvings.
Here are some photos I took of the chainsaw carvings:
Hope is also home to the International Wood Carving Competition as part of their Brigade Days held in September. Carvers from around the world decend on this little town to compete in the art of chainsaw carving. Another claim to fame, this one for movie buffs, is that in 1981 Hope was transformed into the ‘birthplace’ of John Rambo for the movie First Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone.
When you visit Hope to view the woodcarvings drop by the Visitors Center and pick up a map that gives the location of each carving and a suggested walking tour.
Although my visit was short I enjoyed it immensely.
Back to the shop…