POPEYE and FRIENDS CHARACTER TRAIL
Visit our Facebook link below for photos of all of the granite statues and a history of the project
Sponsorships are currently being sought for the 2021 statue being added to our Trail ... it is Harold Hamgravy, the original Thimble Theatre cast member and Olive Oyl's long-time love interest . This is an excellent opportunity to provide a lasting tribute to your parents, grandparents, commemorate your own family. Everyone (not just a resident of Chester) is welcome to sponsor these statues and anyone interested in helping with these projects and having themselves (their special someone, organization or business) immortalized on the statue base should contact Michael W. McClure immediately, as donor spots sell quickly. He can be reached by email at
The “Popeye and Friends Character Trail” is a multi-year plan initiated to further the development of tourism in Chester, as well as celebrate the local cartoon-connection with Popeye the Sailorman, who had a bronze statue erected here in his honor in 1977. This trail seeks to place granite statues representing characters, created ( or inspired) by Elzie C. Segar, throughout the city. The first granite statue, “Wimpy”, was erected in 2006 in the Gazebo Park next to the old Opera House his real-life counterpart owned. “Olive Oyl”, “Swee’ Pea” and the “Jeep” followed in 2007 and now are keeping watch over all who enter the Randolph County Court House. Since 2008 “Bluto” has greeted everyone who passes the Buena Vista National Bank. “Castor Oyl” and “Bernice the Whiffle Hen” took residence on the Memorial Hospital lawn in 2009. The grassy flat between Walmart and McDonald’s became the new home in 2010 for the evil “Sea Hag” and her pet vulture, “Bernard”. In 2011 Olive’s father, “Cole Oyl”, took his place in front of the Chester Public Library, the public building Cole’s namesake built for the city just prior to his death. 2012 brought "Alice the Goon and her child" to their new home at the entrance to the Chester Center. "Poopdeck Pappy", Popeye's father, has been standing watch at the Cohen Recreational Complex since 2013. "Prof. O. G. Wotasnozzle" joined this auspicious cast of characters in 2014 and greets students and alumni at the Chester High School. "Rough House" joined the cast in 2015 at Reid's Harvest House. Popeye's "Nephews" , Poopeye, Pipeye, Pupeye and Peepeye, got in on the fun in 2016 and will forever welcome all students arriving at the Chester Grade School. King Blozo decorously ascended his throne in front of Chester City Hall in 2017. Olive Oyl's mother, "Nana Oyl" joined her fellow Thimble Theatre cast members in 2018 and now greets all visitors at The Manor At Craig Farms. At the 2019 Popeye Picnic, three of Popeye's Pups joined the Chester Firehouse "staff" and keep watch over all who pass by the station. In celebration of Elzie C. Segar's 125th birthday, the Sherlock & Segar statue was erected adjacent to Baskerville Hall ... appropriately dressed in tribute to Segar's compelling interest in the master detective, Sherlock Holmes. On Halloween morning, 2020, the 20,000 year old caveman, Toar, took his rightful place on the Trail near St Nicholas / Landmark on the Mississippi riverfront. Every one of these statues has been made possible with the encouragement of King Features Syndicate and by the donations of sponsors (starting at $150), and these generous donors’ names are engraved on each statue’s granite base in appreciation of their support. Contact us now to reserve your spots on the next important additions to the Popeye and Friends Character Trail ! Send all inquiries to ... and thank you for your interest !