Unusual Place of the Month: The Fremont Troll

troll

picture from beatnikhiway.com

Roaming in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, by the Puget Sound inlet on the Pacific near Canada, is a great and terrible creature of legend. Terrorizing the good people under the George Washington Memorial Bridge, the monster grabs cars and devours the drivers and other pedestrians by swallowing them whole by the handful in…No, I am not talking about Bigfoot! That big ape is famous enough already. This monstrosity is the one and only Fremont Troll.

OK, Now that I got your attention, I can start this article properly. Also known as the “Troll Under the Bridge,” this mixed media statue, made of steel rebar, wire and concrete, lurched his way under the bridge and into the hearts of locals and visitors, on Halloween of 1990. The Scandinavian behemoth interactive with visitors and has often been decorated with chalk drawings and even a Santa hat during the holidays. You may also climb up and down the Troll and punch him in his good eye made from a hubcap. In his mighty left hand is a real Volkswagen Beetle covered in cement. The volks was at one point also a time capsule for some Elvis merchandise as well but the collection was removed due to vandals.

The statues history started with a contest sponsored by the Fremont Arts Council in 1990 to rehabilitate the area under the bridge, which was turning into an unofficial garbage dump and spot for drug dealing. Inspired by that famous fairy-tale “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and built by for different, talented artists together, this big lug ended up crawling under to scare away the drug dealers from Seattle’s most colorful neighborhood. (In fact, Fremont could be labeled as an Unusual Place in its own right, but I would have to much to write about however, so look it up on your own). Luckily all goats have nothing to fear from him as he is already stone.

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The Troll continues to be an icon of Fremont. He appeared in the movie, “10 Things I Hate About You,” a smaller version of him on wheels road in the 2007 Red Bull Soapbox Race in Seattle and every October 31 the people of Fremont celebrate the Troll’s birthday with a special “Trollaween” celebration. He has appeared in numerous merchandise including t-shirts, postcards and even his own chia pet! He can be found under his bridge for visitors at all hours between North 34th and North 36th at Aurora Ave. North, renamed in 2005 to Troll Ave. North. He also has a Facebook account but he doesn’t seem to do any Internet trolling. I wonder where he keeps his giant laptop.

– Jeff

chia

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