You wouldn’t know it, but the small town of Casey, Illinois is home to eight Guinness World Records. With just 3,000 residents, the Midwestern locale—100 miles away from the nearest big city—boasts a smattering of the world’s largest objects: a rocking chair, mailbox, knitting needles, crochet hook, wind chime, pitchfork, golf tee, and clogs.
The attractions are the brainchild of local businessman Jim Bolin. After the recession, he saw the need to boost tourism in Casey and began planning his first sculpture—the giant wind chime. Inspired by childhood memories of listening to them with his grandmother, it took Bolin nearly two years to see the project through. It was finished in 2011 and now stands fully functional at 54 feet tall.
From there, Bolin erected the other objects all fit for a giant. Second came the golf tee (30 feet tall) and then the knitting needles and crochet hook (each is 14 feet tall). In order to set the world record, the crafting utensils had to produce samples of 10 stitches by 10 rows—not an easy feat considering that the knitting needles together weighed 51 pounds and the crochet hook, nine pounds!
Though these creations are all impressive, there are two standouts in the group. One is the rocking chair; visible from the interstate, it’s 57-feet high and really rocks back and forth. The other is the mailbox. Created in 2015, it features a built-in stairway that allows visitors to climb inside and admire downtown. And best of all, it can receive mail like a conventional mailbox. When there's a letter, the flag stands upright.
Bolin’s offbeat work—which collectively, has the name Big Stuff in a Small Town—has certainly drawn tourists to Casey. On TripAdvisor, there’s no shortage of photos that capture the playful structures and enjoyment it brings to others. Aside from his Guinness World Records, there’s also a giant pencil and birdcage that visitors can admire. We think it's time to plan a road trip!