Joe Palooka was a 1940's-era comic-book hero who symbolized American individualism, self-reliance, and direct action. The 10-feet high, 10-ton Palooka monument, carved by local stonecutter George Hitchcock, was a reminder to all of America's hard-won freedoms. The stone statue of Palooka, with a cape making him resemble Superman, was dedicated in 1948 by his creator, Ham Fisher. The monument dedication was held in Bedford as part of the area's centennial festivities, but Joe was moved permanently to Oolitic in 1984. As you walk around Main Street, you can't help but notice that the surrounding buildings--fire station, hardware store, business office--are also built from the stuff that makes this area famous.
Many famous buildings are built of Oolitic Limestone. Probably the most famous is the Empire State Building. Visitors can see the "Empire Hole," about 1/2 mile north of Oolitic. This is the site where the Limestone for the Empire State Building was quarried.