The Bears of Blue River statue

Charles Major was a lawyer and author from Shelbyville, Indiana, a small town near Indianapolis. Major wrote several novels, including his second book, The Bears of Blue River. A statue of the book’s hero and main character, Balsar Brent, was commissioned in 1927. The statue used to be in front of a now demolished elementary school, but recently was placed within the town square, recently reworked.

Statue in front of school, circa 1950’s

Newly relocated place of honor








The statue still sported the festive Santa hats when we got the pictures. The new town square construction has provided a lovely place for folks to relax and enjoy the seating, and when the weather warms, surely events will be planned.

Detail of bronze plaque

Close up of Balsar and his cubs






The book “Bears of Blue River” is a staple of Hoosier school kids, and has been since it was published in 1901. It is a very exciting read, complete with harrowing adventures, exciting chases and a plethora of encounters with 1820’s wild animals on the then Indiana frontier. I remember it well…

24 thoughts on “The Bears of Blue River statue

  1. I wonder how many wonderful authors I’ve never heard of and shouldn’t have missed?! Thanks for mentioning this one, and sharing the statue which is adorable with its little hats LOL.


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