LAWLER, Minn. (WCCO) – It may look like a ghost town to drivers passing through Aitkin County, but there are surprises waiting for those who step into Lawler’s one remaining business.

It’s a bar, known as Jackson’s Hole, where the seats are part of the attraction.

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“We have people that come in all the time just because of the barstools,” said bar owner Mary Pepera.

They’re original wooden stools, carved into cartoonish characters by a local artist named Cliff Letty.

They include a topless woman bathing in a washtub, a man with a large screw through his chest and the tail ends of two farm animals.

“We have a man that needs to go to the bathroom at the end of the bar,” Pepera said. “We’ve got a hunter that’s got a gun and he’s got deer prints around him. The detail is unbelievable.”

Letty was an artist from nearby Sturgeon Lake who started as a cake decorator. His cartoon sketches are still posted on the bar’s walls. His passion for nature is etched into the countertop at Jackson’s Hole.

“Every square has a different animal,” Pepera said. “There’s deer, there’s moose, there’s pheasant, there’s squirrels.”

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Before he died six years ago, Letty left Jackson’s Hole with plenty to talk about, but it turns out, he never went there to drink.

“He was proud to be a recovered alcoholic,” said Judy Hietalahti, the former owner of Jackson’s Hole who hired Letty to do the woodwork.

“I don’t think it was even about the money,” she said. “It was about just to do what he loved to do.”

He based the faces on those knew from a community he cared about, a small community where he made a big difference.

“He’s been a very big asset to Lawler,” Pepera said.

Even though Lawler’s population is only about 125, the bar stays busy.

It’s a popular hunting area, and many snowmobilers and ATV riders pull in from the nearby trails.

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