Check Out The Little Illinois Town That’s Full Of Giant Things
If you're in the mood for an Illinois-based road trip, a 4-hour ride down I-39 (253 miles) will take you to Casey, Illinois, the home of the world's largest mailbox, rocking chair, barber-pole, wooden clogs, windchimes, pitchfork, key, and so much more.
Casey Is Home To Nearly A Dozen "World's Largest _____" Guinness World Records
Which is a pretty big number for such a small town. Casey's population, according to the 2020 census, is 2,404 people. There would be even more record-holding giant items in Casey, but the world's largest gavel (16 feet, 8 inches) is in the neighboring town of Marshall, and the former world-record holding knitting needles (13.75 feet) in Casey have been topped by a British town (14.5 feet).
So, Why Did Casey Illinois Decide To Go Big With Everything?
According to EnjoyIllinois.com, Casey can thank its outbreak of giantism to the imagination of a lifelong resident, a businessman and philanthropist named Jim Bolin. It seems that Mr. Bolin wanted to open up a tea shop, and he really wanted to draw attention to both the tea shop and the town of Casey itself. So, he did what any of us would do---he had gigantic wind-chimes (42 feet) built near the tea shop's location.
After That Got People's Attention, More Big Things Started Appearing In Casey
I guess for Jim, investing in world-record competitive giant objects is a bit like eating giant potato chips--you can't stop with just one.
Over the next several years, other larger-than-life structures followed, including a golf tee, wooden clogs, a rocking chair, a working seesaw, a key (a perfect replica of Bolin’s own Chevy truck key), a 5743-cubic-foot mailbox from which you can actually send mail, and more. The so-called “Big Things Small Town” campaign extends beyond official world records, too. There’s a big pizza slicer outside the Greathouse of Pizza pizzeria; a big green bookworm outside the public library; a big softball bat outside the USA Softball of Illinois Hall of Fame; and many other XL items sprinkled strategically around town.
The rocking chair:
The Chevy key:
The giant mailbox:
And the pitchfork: