(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘small towns

“A beautiful object, whether it be a living organism or any whole composed of parts, must not only have an orderly arrangement of parts, but must also be of a certain magnitude”*…

This huge rocking chair (the world’s largest at 56.5 feet/46,200 pounds) can be found in Casey, IL.

Big things in small towns…

Casey, Ill., is home to 12 of the world’s largest objects, including a swizzle spoon, wind chime and most impressively, the world’s largest rocking chair. The 23-ton rocker took two onerous years to meticulously construct and included fastidious wood carving and diligent staining. The seat was certified as the world’s largest rocking chair back in 2015 after 10 sturdy individuals proved that the chair could actually rock back and forth. Looming at a monumental 56 feet high, Grandma would have to climb the world’s tallest ladder if she wanted to knit in this chair, proving that the town’s motto “Big Things Small Town” is an apropos sentiment…

One one several stops on a tour of massive novelties in small communities across the U.S.: “The Weird World of Gigantic Roadside Attractions,” from @FiftyGrandeMag.

See also: “The World’s Largest Ball Of Twine is a preserved in a gazebo in Darwin, Minnesota,” from @BoingBoing.

* Aristotle, Poetics


As we muse on the monumental, we might recall that it was on this date in 1859 that the Clock Tower at the north end of the Palace of Westminster (the seat of Parliament) in London was completed. It housed, at the time, the largest and most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world. It quickly became known by the nickname of its Great Bell (the largest of five), Big Ben.


“I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude”*…


Hoot Owl, Oklahoma- population 4… Just one of the quiet towns around the world to be found on the “List of Places With Fewer Than 10 Residents.”

* Henry David Thoreau


As we head for the hinterland, we might recall that it was on this date in 1907 that Oklahoma was admitted to the Union, becoming the 46th state.  The history of Oklahoma is inexorably tiesd to the fates of Native Americans displaced by the Indian Removal Act, May 30, 1830, which authorized land grants in the open prairie, west of the Mississippi, in exchange for Native American property to the east.  Oklahoma became the migration destination of Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee, known as the “five civilized tribes,” coerced by the federal government to relocate.  By 1880, sixty tribes, had moved to Oklahoma where they created a government structure, landownership laws, and a thriving culture.  Indeed, the name Oklahoma is derived from the Choctaw Indian words “okla,” meaning people, and “humma,” meaning red.  In 1889 Congress opened part of the region (which the United States had acquired in 1803 via the Louisiana Purchase) to settlement by non-Native Americans– who immediately began lobbying for Statehood, starting by organizing  The Oklahoma Territory in 1890.  The new state of Oklahoma incorporated what remained of Indian Territory.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 16, 2012 at 1:01 am

“Don’t blink or you’ll miss it…”

Monowi, Nebraska

Mental Floss reports

Elsie Eiler may be in her seventies, but she can’t slow down. In addition to being Monowi’s sole resident, she’s also the town’s mayor, bartender, and librarian.  As you enter Monowi, the sign tells you that the population is two, but that number was cut in half when Eiler’s husband, Rudy, died of cancer in 2004. Rudy had been a voracious reader in addition to working as a farmer and a tavern keeper, and he amassed a collection of over 5,000 books. One of his last wishes was that Elsie turn the collection into a public library after his death, which she did; Rudy’s library is housed in a small white building near Elsie’s trailer.

Elsie’s days are busy; she maintains the bar, which draws thirsty drinkers and fans of her burgers from around the region, runs the library, and serves as the one-woman town’s mayor. She collects taxes from herself and makes an annual application for state road funds to keep the town’s four streetlights burning. Elsie’s can-do attitude has earned her some national recognition; Today has even come to shoot segments at her library.

Oddly, Census Bureau estimates from earlier this year estimated that Monowi’s population was two people. This second resident was news to Mayor Elsie Eiler. She quipped to the Associated Press, “Where’s this other person? Let me know. … I don’t want to come back to my house at 11 or 12 and see someone else there.”

Visit six other “Really Tiny Towns“…

As we get in touch with our inner Norman Rockwell, we might recall that it was on this date in 1926 that The College Board administered the first SAT exam.  Prepared by a committee headed by Princeton psychologist Carl Campbell Brigham, the multiple-choice test had sections of definitions, arithmetic, classification, artificial language, antonyms, number series, analogies, logical inference, and paragraph reading. It was administered to over 8,000 students at over 300 test centers.

The College Board had been had been administering exams since 1901; but it’s earlier assessments were based on essay responses that were graded “excellent”, “good”, “doubtful”, “poor” or “very poor.”

illustration: Sam Ward

Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 25, 2010 at 12:01 am

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