Big Things, Small Town… Casey, IL
Looking for the obscure in my days, especially these days where it seems anything goes, I found myself upon a little town in Illinois called Casey. Now what makes Casey unique and honestly, downright special, is that this town has chosen to do something with their space that makes them stand out. An Instagrammers dream come true, this city boasts world records on top of the LARGEST items around! What do I mean? Follow me down Main Street…Driving in, my mouth dropped open. Nothing around this town for miles except corn and more corn. It’s as if this place fell out of the sky into farmland, and brought a few thousand tourists along with it. It was an easy drive to get there, what you’d expect driving on country roads. What I didn’t expect was how cool the city was and how many people were there to enjoy it. You could drive right through this area and not even see some of the peculiar pieces, but it’s hard to miss the building size mailbox and rocking chair! The mailbox alone is worth your time, at 5700 Cubic feet, you can actually walk up into it AND you can buy a postcard at the gift shop below and MAIL it inside the large mailbox- when you do this, the red flag on the outside of the mailbox raises up- how cool is that?!?! Also located behind the Mail Box is a Candy shop (which is home to the largest pair of Wooden Shoes called the “Candy Depot”) and Christmas Store, along with a Souvenir shop of the town. I picked up Candy Cigarettes for my kids here because I had to share the love of my childhood with them…you know, responsible stuff.The World’s largest rocking chair can be found on the same Main Street, opposite side and on the other end of town (across from the largest Wind Chime). It sits 56.5 feet tall, and no, you can’t sit in it. I would be impressed if you tried, because getting to the seat alone would take a couple of ladders. And of course across is the Largest Wind Chime, standing at 55 feet high, which you can also ring!I parked the car on Main Street, and just walked up and down to see what I could find. There are lists all over the interwebs on where to find what, but it’s kind of fun just coming across one of these oddities on your own. For instance, the mousetrap, not the game but an actual giant mousetrap, is off the Main Street in it’s own little courtyard, so you do have to take some time and walk around to look. I came across the large toy top, which you can spin as well on the sidewalk, located right in front of a quaint little antique shop called “Deborah’s Attic”. On this same street, I came across an old bank. You can go inside to see the old lobby, where they now have a walkway to a Restaurant inside. The lobby alone is cool to see the old bank vault door and gate…on top of some great old pictures of what the bank used to look like back in it’s time. I feel like the older I get, the more I get excited about these types of things, wonder why.You also have to pay attention in town, as many things can be walked right by. I found that the Large Knitting Needles were actually in a Sewing Shop on the corner of Main Street, had I not been paying attention I would’ve walked right by them! They are absolutely HUGE and they go a long with a Guiness World Record (Held until 2017), which is framed inside the shop.You can tell the town as embraced their love of the “big things in life” because they are beaming with pride about it. They also aren’t shy about their faith, which I LOVE, as many of the items and buildings had scripture on them. You don’t have to believe to enjoy these things, but it’s nice to see people celebrating their faith in this manner for all those too see. Its funny because the items they chose to be “HUGE” in their town don’t have a lot of rhyme or reason to them. On one end of town you have a Minion from “Despicable Me,” and then across the street you have a HUGE birdcage complete with swing for you to sit on and it makes a GREAT photo opp! Next you have the LARGE pencil, a Cactus, Ruler, several Art Sculptures of Bikes, a Barber Shop Pole, Ear of Corn, and of course the World’s Largest Teeter Totter which yes, you can walk on and see if you someone will ride with you!Now there is more to see on the BIG scale that takes a ride in your car, but easy enough to find around town. The nearby golf course hosts the Largest Golf Tee, as you can also find the Largest Golf Club, located on Central Avenue. On the outskirts of town, you will find the Largest Pitchfork, located at the Richards Farm Restaurant property, and the Largest Antlers in front of a rental facility. I noticed a large pizza cutter as I drove away from the antlers, located across the street, just didn’t get a chance for a picture. Also in this area is a large wooden token, great for a photo opp! Honestly the whole town is nothing but photo opps.You may ask yourself, how did this come to be? Well a man named Jim Bolin, of Bolin Enterprises, which does maintenance on gas and oil pipelines, had the machinery and people to MAKE big things happen! Bolin, along with others, saw their small town dying out and came up with the genius idea to revitalize and bring it back to life! As more “Big Stuff” has been built, more businesses have been able to thrive in the downtown area. A win, win if you ask me! There are things I didn’t even see, mostly due to the heat of the day. Being from FL you think I would be used to the heat by now but it was a steamy, hot kind of day that just drains you of energy you think you had. The town is certified by Guinness World Record to have the worlds largest barbershop pole, key, teeter-totter, golf club, gavel, and twizzle spoon. Is it worth the trip? Absolutely and Ill tell you why. First off, we are living in Covid times, and much of our adventures have to be outdoors and away from the crowds. This was a perfect way to see some really cool stuff, from the safety of my car and also behind my mask. They do require you wear one inside the stores, but people seemed to be 50/50 on wearing them outside. If I was around a group of people, passing by on the sidewalk, I made sure to have mine on. Standing for a pic opp, I chose to take it off. I felt safe enough to enjoy the Town, and for most of it, you could truly see it from your car and just drive around if you are nervous about any interactions. I was there on a Saturday, July 25th, 2020 and to me, it felt like a busy little town. Like Walt Disney, Jim plans to keep adding new things every year so that people keep coming back. I know that I hope to come back again and see what’s new and what I missed the first time around. A great road trip for the family. Check out more of my travels through Illinois HERE– enjoy!
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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!