The World’s Largest Ball of Twine Is Closer Than You Think
Did you know that less than two hours from Faribault sits the World's Largest Ball of Twine made by one man? That's right, you'll find it in the heart of downtown Darwin, Minnesota. According to RoadsideAmerica.com, there are other balls of twine making this same claim to fame, but only one was created by a single individual over years of patiently adding to its size. That gentleman is Francis A. Johnson, a Meeker County resident who spent about 29 years creating his massive ball of twine. In 1950 he began creating a ball made of twine in his basement, but as it grew larger he moved it out to his front yard, eventually sheltering it from the elements in an open air shed. By the time he stopped this little hobby in 1979, the ball weighed nearly 9 tons and measured 12 feet wide.
After Johnson's passing, the Twine Ball was placed inside a gazebo with Plexiglass windows to further protect it from the effects of the weather. There's even a small museum next door and the Twine Ball Days Festival is held every second Saturday in August.
Every time my wife and I pass through Darwin with friends or family who have never seen this wonder, we make sure to stop, so that they too can be amazed by this massive undertaking created through the patience of one man.