Small Town With the World's Biggest Things
We’re all familiar with them and might even have one in a town nearby.
They’re those places laying claim to having the largest frying pan, the largest ball of twine or the largest ketchup bottle.
Heck, the World’s Largest Truck Stop is just 10 miles from my house.
But there’s one town in the southern half of Illinois that has taken it a step beyond, several steps beyond.
The small town of Casey, Illinois, population 3,000, is the home of the world’s largest rocking chair AND the world’s largest mailbox AND the world’s largest barbershop pole AND eight other world’s largest objects.
It’s all the brainchild of one man, Jim Bolin
Now if Jim didn’t already own a pipeline company he would have a great future in marketing.
It all started when he built the world’s largest wind chimes.
Casey sits a hundred miles west of Indianapolis, 135 miles east of St. Louis. As is the case with so many small towns, with the construction of interstate highways and bypasses, traffic that once brought customers through town to local gas stations, restaurants and cute little shops evaporated.
Jim’s wife operates a café in town and needed a way to draw more customers. That’s when he came up with the idea for building the world’s biggest wind chimes, right next to the café, and throwing a billboard out on one of those highways to lure in visitors.
It worked. He, quite literally, built it and they came. Jim knew he was onto something.
A lifelong Casey resident, he decided if it worked for his wife’s café, it could work for other businesses in the community.
So he kept building to the point that Casey now has 11 record setting objects.
It doesn’t end there though. There are more than 20 other objects in Casey that aren’t quite up to the world’s largest standard but they’re still pretty big. Things like a mouse trap, taco, anvil, cactus, pig, minion (as in Despicable Me) and a whole bunch more.
But wait, there’s more! Jim is hoping to spread the wealth to nearby towns so now you can find the world’s largest gavel in nearby Marshall, Illinois, 20 miles due west of Casey. It measures in at 16-feet, eight-inches in length.
Casey is a small town so many of the objects are within walking distance. You can even rent golf carts and bicycles at a place called Model Tees on Main Street. Other objects, like the golf tee and pitchfork are just a short drive near the edge of town.
Visiting Casey is kind of like going on a weird and wonderful scavenger hunt. I spent two hours and didn’t come close to seeing everything. You can easily spend an afternoon there.
There’s a map you can download and print out at home and cute signs around town pointing to the main attractions.
You won’t be alone. Even though it was a Monday afternoon during the school year when I arrived, there were still quite a few tourists roaming the streets.
I put more photos below but I also want to share a couple of news videos. The first is from WQAD, a television station in my area. Thanks to my friend, Jenny, who served as the camera person on the report and shared it with me:
And here’s one by Conor Knighton that appeared recently on CBS Sunday Morning.
Here’s the photos, with descriptions further on down.
You can see the normal sized pole hanging on the barbershop just behind the World’s Largest Barbershop Pole. The record setter is 14-feet, 7-inches tall.
The World’s Largest Key is a replica of Jim Bolin’s Chevy truck key. It’s 28-feet, 2-inches tall.
The World’s Largest Golf Driver is made from an old aluminum light pole and is 45-feet long. The Mouse Trap isn’t a record holder but you can slide behind the bar at the bottom for a great photo.
The World’s Largest Wooden Shoes are 11-feet, 5-inches long and 4-feet, nine-inches tall. They’re inside at the Wildflour Baker and Candy Company.
The World’s Largest Pitchfork is 60-feet long and weighs 1,940 pounds. It’s at Richard’s Farm Restaurant on the edge of town.
The World’s Largest Golf Tee measures 30-feet high and weighs 6,659 pounds. It’s located at the local country club.
The World’s Largest Teeter Totter is 82-feet long. It really does work but is locked in place. You can walk out onto it. If you’re a little afraid of heights be warned, it does bounce up and down and sway a bit out at the end.
The Crochet Hook is a former World Record Holder, measuring in a little over six feet and weighing nine pounds. The new record holder is over in the United Kingdom.
The Pencil isn’t a world record holder but it’s still big, 32.5-feet big.
The big Softball Bat is close to my heart, after all those years of Darling Daughter playing travel ball. It's outside the Illinois Softball Hall of Fame.
The Antlers were donated as a gift after being featured in a commercial.
The Bookworm is the perfect big thing out in front of the public library.
Where else are you going to find a big Taco but outside a Mexican restaurant? This one, made in Mexico, is 16-feet long and 7.5-feet wide.
The World’s Largest Swizzle Spoon is 11-feet, 8.5-inches. It’s outside Brownie’s, a great neighborhood bar. I couldn't resist the opportunity to have a beer there before leaving town.
Each inch of the Yard Stick measures exactly one foot, making it 36-feet long.
**I allow use of my photos through Creative Commons License. I'm not looking to make money off this thing. I only ask you provide me with credit for the photo by noting my blog address, alansheaven.com, or a link back to this page.