8 Wonders of Kansas customs

An 8 Wonder of Kansas Customs

Saving twine, Cawker City

Address: 820 W. Wisconsin, Cawker City, KS 67430
Website: www.cawkercitykansas.com/ball-of-twine.html

Custom: Saving twine to be frugal.

Place to see the result: Ball of Twine, Cawker City. Downtown, south side of U.S. 24, under a canopy.

Mention Kansas and one of the first things anyone will talk about is the Ball
of Twine. People may give a chuckle when the Ball of Twine is mentioned, but curiosity gets the best of them and they to go see it.

The Ball of Twine is also part of the most highly debated topic in the arena of the world's largest things. Which town does have the world's largest ball of twine? Cawker City, Kansas wins the debate if you're looking for the World's Largest Ball of Sisal Twine still growing!

Frank Stoeber started winding twine December 24, 1953 on his farm and soon neighbor farmers started bringing their twine to him. In 1961 his symbol of thrift had grown to such grand proportions that it was moved to town under a shelter so all could see it!

Frank has since passed away but the community still adds to the Ball of Twine at the annual Twine-a-thon held the third weekend of every August. When visitors stop at the Ball of Twine and are noticed by twine ball caretaker, Linda Clover, she zooms over in her car and asks them if they want to add to the Ball of Twine! Smiles broaden as she opens her trunk and pulls out some twine, carefully records the amount, and then helps the delighted visitor become part of history!

As of September 2009 the Ball of Twine weighed 19,198 pounds and is 7,974,454 feet long--1,510.31 miles worth! Darwin, Minnesota is known as the World's Largest Ball of Sisal Twine wound by one man. This finished product weighs in at 17,400 pounds and is approximately 40 feet in circumference. There is a larger plastic ball of twine but it weighs much less. This debate is for the heavyweights!

You'll see a great complement to the Ball of Twine if you stroll down the two-block business district. Artist Cher Heller Olson has drawn familiar paintings and added a ball of twine to each. Can you find it in the da Vincis, the Michelangelos, and the Monets?

Contact: Linda Clover, clover@nckcn.com

Photos: Harland Schuster for KSF