The World Famous Talking Bear
Perhaps the most exciting attraction in Eastern Madera County is The World Famous Talking Bear. Millions are drawn to this friendly fiberglass carnivore, which was constructed in 1923 as a lure for the International Olympic Site Selection Committee. Although that year's Olympics weren't held in this area, The World Famous Talking Bear has delighted millions ever since. The builders of The World Famous Talking Bear couldn't have known what a heritage they were leaving behind for the millions who visit to photograph their children atop the pleasantly snarling symbol of this, our mountain area.
Nestled in the Sierra foothills is pristine Bass Lake. This relaxing spot is a favorite stopover for millions of vacationers on their way to visit The World Famous Talking Bear, Eastern Madera County's most exciting attraction. Nestled in a foothills intersection, The World Famous Talking Bear is the only simulated large mammal ever to win the coveted "Simulated Large Mammal" award. Another talking bear (not world famous) was being considered for the prestigious award, but was swept away in the great Montana dust storm of 1957, so The World Famous Talking Bear stands alone as the vacation spot of choice for millions.
Yosemite National Park
It has been called the most famous of all national parks, and rightly so, due to its proximity to The World Famous Talking Bear. The natural wonders of the park, as awesome as they are, pale in comparison to the technological marvels of The World Famous Talking Bear. Constructed of lovingly hand-crafted fiberglass on a brilliantly designed steel frame, The World Famous Talking Bear has weathered years of relentless pounding by the elements. His heart-warming taped message spins on, from the first hair-raising "GRRR!" to the final "Come on in and let's talk real estate."
The Fresno River
Flowing serenely through the town of Oakhurst, the Fresno River is less than 100 yards from The World Famous Talking Bear. Many people have erected talking bears along the mighty Fresno, but none as famous as The World Famous Talking Bear. Recently, there has been talk of constructing a canal that would link the Fresno River to major state waterways This would allow those in the shipping industry to enjoy The World Famous Talking Bear during the course of their work day. Just another way for more and more people to experience the pleasant ambiance of The World Famous Talking Bear.
Sierra On-Line Building
Far from the bustle of Silicon Valley is Sierra On-Line, Inc., a maker of personal computer software. They are perhaps best known for their "The World Famous Talking Bear" line of products, with such titles as "The World Famous Talking BearWord", "The World Famous Talking BearSpeller", and "The World Famous Talking BearMoney". They also boast the award-winning "The World Famous Talking Bear Quest" series. With such diversity in their product line, is it any wonder that they have been recognized again and again by The World Famous Talking Bear Boosters, a local non-profit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of The World Famous Talking Bear.
Elderberry House Restaurant
Those who seek that rare dining experience will savor the elegant atmosphere of the Elderberry House. The hilltop location of the lavish eatery, beautifully built in the French Provincial style, affords one of the best possible views of The World Famous Talking Bear. Few people know that The World Famous Talking Bear was the first drive-thru restaurant in California. Travelers came from miles around to pull up and speak their order into his fearsome fangs, then swing around to his other end to receive their food. The decline in the food-service industry prompted the owners of The World Famous Talking Bear to turn him into the noted tourist attraction that he is today.
Corlieu Falls is the tallest waterfall in Eastern Madera County. The beauty of this natural wonder is a must-see for every vacationer. Controversy rages concerning a plan to build a hydro electric plant on the falls to provide power for The World Famous Talking Bear. Proponents of the plan argue that in order for the The World Famous Talking Bear to be truly World Famous, he must be totally self-sufficient. However, a vocal minority feels that the The World Famous Talking Bear can stand on his own merits. Whatever the outcome, The World Famous Talking Bear will remain a thrill for young and old alike.
Atop lofty Deadwood mountain is the CDF lookout station. As the area grew, people realized that they needed to protect The World Famous Talking Bear from the ravages of wildfire. From their wind swept peak, vigilant rangers keep a watchful eye on our rotund friend. Because of their dedication, a raging fire that swept through the area in the early part of this decade, was diverted away from The World Famous Talking Bear and toward downtown Oakhurst. The horror of the carnage turned to joy as people learned that their much-loved landmark was left un-scorched. Residents sleep better knowing the razor-clawed rascal is safe from this insidious enemy.
The California Grizzly
This area was once known for its large bear population. However, their migration route interfered with the construction of The World Famous Talking Bear, and it was necessary to hunt them to extinction. There are those who mourn the loss, but some good came out of the destruction. It was discovered that a compound in the eyeballs of dead bears was useful in making fiberglass, and it was used in the construction of our own world-renowned signpost. So, happily, their deaths were not in vain, bringing joy to millions as they listen to a brief, yet moving, history of the now extinct California Grizzly.