Following Quentin Trembley's impeachment as President of the United States and disappearance from Gravity Falls, the government deemed "local nobody" Nathaniel Northwest as town founder and therefore instating him as the new mayor, a man who believed himself to be a powerful wizard and thus able to eat an entire oak tree. The Northwest Cover-up garnered him an illustrious wealth, prompting him to convince the townspeople to aid in the building of the Northwest Manor. Though many lives were lost during its construction, Nathaniel promised that the lavish parties hosted within the mansion would be welcome for all, but he quickly broke this promise following the manor's completion. Enraged with his deceit, a lumberjack swore vengeance on the Northwest family, vowing to return from the grave 150 years later to murder their descendants, should they fail to allow the commoners entry to their parties.
Despite his newly-acquired wealth, Nathaniel remained mentally unstable and erratic, eventually dying due to choking on oak bark in an attempt to prove himself a wizard. It was noted that all who knew him did not like him and that he would not be missed. His legacy lived on through his successors, and the people of Gravity Falls memorialized him as the hero who erected their town. In the years following, relatives and descendants of the Northwest family committed numerous misdeeds and crimes under the protection of their wealth and reputation, including betraying Native tribes, embezzling from the town, and slaughtering dozens of animals.
During the celebration of Pioneer Day in "Irrational Treasure," Pacifica references the prestige of her relation to Nathaniel, however, an entry in Journal 3 reveals Ford's discovery of a conspiracy behind the true town founder. Dipper and Mabel then embark on a hunt that ultimately leads to the discovery of the Northwest Cover-Up, revealing Nathaniel's true identity as a waste-shoveling nobody turned figurehead mayor.
In "Scary-oke," the statue is seen at the beginning of the episode as the light from the portal flashes over the town.
In "Northwest Mansion Mystery," Nathaniel's portrait is hung in the main hall of Northwest Manor and later appears in the Ghost's flashback depicting his betrayal against the people of Gravity Falls.
In "Not What He Seems," the statue is seen when the town floating is shown.
In "The Last Mabelcorn," Mabel dumps glitter on the statue during Mabel's Good Deeds Montage.
In "Weirdmageddon Part 1," Nathaniel's statue is briefly seen as Bill claims dominion over Gravity Falls. Shortly after Bill is done with his speech, he melts the statue of Nathaniel.
In "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back The Falls," Nathaniel's statue reverts back to its original state after Weirdmageddon ends.