The World’s Largest Twine Ball
The World’s Largest Twine Ball…built by one man…resides in the small central Minnesota town of Darwin.
Scroll to the bottom of this page or CLICK HERE to watch our video tour of the World’s Largest Twine Ball in Darwin, Minnesota.
Constructed by Francis A. Johnson, he started the project one cold afternoon in March of 1950…and didn’t complete his masterpiece of twine until 1979. It’s said he wrapped twine for about four hours every single day. Eventually his twine ball got so big he hoisted it up with a crane so he could continue wrapping the twine ball properly.
When it got too massive for the crane, Johnson moved the ball to a circular open air shed he built on his front lawn.
The twine ball would make any cat drool with envy: it weighs 17,400 pounds (7,900 kg)…and is approximately 40 feet in circumference.
On June 25, 1991, the City of Darwin moved the massive project from Johnson’s farm to the center of town. A gazebo was constructed to house his twine ball…and, this being Minnesota, winter considerations were made: the gazebo has glass windows so the twine ball can be enjoyed by gawkers year round – snow and rain be darned!
A volunteer-run museum and gift shop is worth a visit, though sadly it was closed when we stoped through town. We’re told there’s lots more historic info and photographs as well as fun souvenirs…including a “Twine Ball Starter Kit”. For the low price of $25, you can get the start of your very own twine ball (along with twine ball themed water bottle, playing cards, shot glass, frisbee, coffee mug, hand mirror, twine ball magnet, bumper sticker, two pencils and a twine ball-(point) pen. If you ask us, that’s a steal for twenty-five bucks!
A Shrine to Twine
Over the past thirty years, the City of Darwin has slowly morphed into a shrine to twine.
After visiting the World’s Largest Twine Ball, you could visit Twine Ball Antiques. You could even consider an overnight stay at the lovely Twine Ball Inn…a motel located less than a block from the ball.
Heck, if you’re lucky enough to be in Darwin the second Saturday in August…you can attend Twine Ball Days. The town’s annual celebration features a “Twine-K Run”, pork chop dinner and a kids pie eating contest.
Even “Weird Al” Yankovic got bitten by the Twine Ball bug! His 1989 song, “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” is all about his trip to the Twine Ball Museum.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO…
- The Twine Ball is located two blocks south of Hwy 12 in dowtown Darwin.
- You can see the Twine Ball 24/7/365 in the outside gazebo.
- Be sure to sign the Guestbook and page through to see the names of folks who’ve traveled from all over the world to see the Twine Ball.
- Check their website for details on when the Museum is open.
- This makes for a great stop along the way to the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Willmar or Spicer.
Want a short video tour? Just watch this!
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