You know how Sweetums and I love Really Big Things. We stop every time we see one on the roadside and take photos. You can see them here.
For our honeymoon in October 2016, we decided to drive along Route 66, beginning at the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville, Illinois.
I thought I’d share photos and a little history of this fun roadside attraction that has it’s own trademark, website, social media accounts and fan club. Oh, and don’t forget the festival. Each July, the residents of Collinsville host the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival. (Note: There is lots and lots of hot-dog eating).
About the Catsup Bottle
This icon is a water tower shaped and painted like a bottle. It is located on Route 159 near Collinsville’s downtown.
The website says, “This unique 170 ft. tall water tower was built in 1949 by the W.E. Caldwell Company for the G.S. Suppiger catsup bottling plant – bottlers of Brooks old original rich & tangy catsup.”
At one point, the city put the tower up for sale for $500,000, hoping someone would buy it and move it to their town to save it from being demolished. No one bit.
“In 1995, due to the efforts of the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group, this landmark roadside attraction was saved from demolition and beautifully restored to its original appearance,” the website said. “Recognized the world over as an excellent example of 20th century roadside Americana, the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle regularly garners national attention and attracts visitors and tourists every day.”
The bottle was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
Sweetums was concerned he would be underwhelmed when he saw it but he wasn’t. We bought a WLCB ornament for the Christmas tree, a T-shirt, and of course, a magnet for the ’fridge as mementoes of our honeymoon.
If you’re ever in the area, it’s worth a stop.