In my previous post I wrote about taking Route 66 for my 66th birthday in October. On the way to Chicago, I made a detour to visit the fun little town of Casey, Illinois which prides itself for its numerous roadside attractions, unique downtown area and their small town charm. The real draw for this place is all of the World’s Largest and numerous other Big Things that are peppered around the town. The town features 12 Guinness World Book certified World’s Largest things and at least 25 other Big Things. On my visit I didn’t get to all of them, even though I spent the night. Casey is really an all-day experience for those that want to see everything and also enjoy the town and its other features.
This particular trip began early in the morning of October 1 from my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. One of my objectives was to avoid interstate highways on the entire trip. I will detail all of the other trip particulars in a separate post, but, basically, I took US 60 west from Lexington through Louisville and then across the Ohio River to New Albany, Indiana. I then followed US 150 from Floyd’s Knobs, Indiana along the Indiana’s Historic Pathways, most particularly the South Spur of the pathways heading northwest. I then hit US 50 near Hardinsburg, Indiana (and, ironically, IN Hwy 66!!). I continued my journey through small Indiana towns like Paoli, Mitchell, Shoals, Loogootee and Vincennes. I then made my way to see the white squirrels in Olney, Illinois, among a few other quirky things. I then made my way to Effingham, Illinois to get an Effingham sandwich, before finally making my way up US 40 into Casey. The Lexington to Casey trip will be my next post.
So, returning to Casey… a town with the self-named title of Big Things Small Town. I got into town around 3:30 PM after my long drive. That gave me plenty of time to visit a number of the large things, but not all of them unfortunately. My first stop was to see the World’s Largest Rocking Chair on Main Street. This is actually the largest chair in all of America. It stands 56.5 feet tall and 32 ft. 10 in. wide. and weighs in at 46,000 pounds. In order to be certified as the world’s largest rocking chair, it actually had to rock when the Guinness folks visited. It was created by Jim Bolin and was certified by Guinness on October 20, 2015. Jim Bolin, a local Casey businessman, was also responsible for the World’s Largest Mailbox, the World’s Largest Clogs, the Largest Golf Tee, the Largest Pitchfork. His team of creators also completed the Largest Knitting Needles, the Largest Crochet Hook and the Largest Wind Chime.
Prior to the Casey rocker, the largest rocker, made completely from steel, was unveiled in Fanning, Missouri, on Route 66. It still stands at 42 feet tall. My friends at RoadsideAmerica.com actually have a nice write-up of the battle for the largest chairs. Check it out here.
After visiting the chair, I made my way around the town looking for more big things. There are plenty of signs to guide onlookers and the town even has a motor tour that they provide if you don’t want to be adventurous like me. Along my way I passed a giant caterpillar in front of the library and then made my way to the golf course to see the World’s Largest Golf Tee. This was one of Bolin’s first creations. It stands 30 ft. 9 in. tall and has a head diameter of 6 ft. 3 in. (my height!!). The shaft is 2 ft. 1 in. It was created with chainsaws.
No too far from the Country Club is Richard’s Farm Restaurant, which is the home to the World’s Largest Pitchfork. This giant fork is over 61 feet long and and over 8 feet wide. From top of handle to the point of the fork, it is about the length of a bowling lane.
I then went back into town to see the giant Windchime, with chimes that are 42 feet long.
Along the way I saw a big piggy bank, a giant pencil and more.
But the other real showstopper for me was the amazing World’s Largest Mailbox. The inside of the mailbox measures a whopping 5,743.41 square feet!! It actually accepts mail and, when deposited, raises a red flag. Sadly, there were crowds around the mailbox and no place to park. So, I was only able to snap a few shots of this amazing giant. According to the Casey website, the mailbox had to be fully functional. Visitors can climb the stairs and send a letter. To me this is the real drawing card for this town.
Driving around town I found more fun big things, including the World’s Largest Truck Key, a Giant Taco, a giant Bird Cage, the World’s Largest Barber Shop Pole, the World’s Largest Twizzle/Swizzle Spoon, a huge Pizza Slicer, Giant Antlers and a Huge Token Coin. I even missed a few. You can see the entire list of big items on the Big Things Small Town Website.
Sadly, I missed out on about 30% of the big things. Shops had closed by 5 PM and some items were in the shops. But, I got a great taste of everything. And, in my meandering about I got a nice shot of the Casey water tower and Casey at Bat mural!
If you like what you see, you can check out my books which cover so much more!
LESS BEATEN PATHS OF AMERICA TRAVEL SERIES
You can get my books online! The series now has five books and I am working on books six and seven. Book Six will be all about murals from all over the country!! Watch for them later this year.