The petite, north central, rural town of Cawker City, Kansas is home to the oldest church organ in Kansas, the third largest reservoir in the state and the world’s largest ball of twine.
Oldest Church Organ in Kansas
The oldest church organ in Kansas was built in 1886 by a Louisville, Kentucky firm known as “Henry Pilcher’s Sons.” Formerly housed in the town’s Methodist Church, the organ was later relocated on numerous occasions.
It is scheduled to be placed in the new church sanctuary once renovations of the building are complete. Once it is in its’ new location, the oldest church organ in Kansas will be available for visitors to view.
Third Largest Reservoir in the State
The third largest reservoir in the state, “Glen Elder Reservoir” is also known as “Waconda Lake.”
Visitors to “Waconda Lake” can enjoy a plethora of outdoor, water related activities all along the lake’s 100 miles of shoreline.
Those that wish to camp overnight on “Waconda Lake” can do so at the nearby “Glen Elder State Park.”
World’s Largest Ball of Twine
The celebrated, gigantic ball of sisal twine was first formulated in 1953. It started out as a labor of love for farmer Frank Stoeber and went on to become so much more.
Farmer Frank’s ball of sisal twine weighed 5,000 pounds and stood 8 feet tall when he bequeathed it to the town of Cawker City in 1961. Since that time it has grown exponentially in both size and fame.
As of 2010 the Cawker City ball of twine weighs 17,980 pounds and is 40 feet tall. Each year the town of Cawker City holds”Twine-a-thon” on the third Friday in August.
During the one day “Twine-a-thon” local residents and tourists alike gather to add to the ball’s girth. Then the ball’s new size is revealed during the town’s annual picnic held on the third Saturday of August. The annual picnic and “Twine-a-thon” are only two much beloved, quirky events that are connected to the world’s largest ball of twine.
There is also the tongue-in-cheek “Masterpiece Twine Walk.” The “Masterpiece Twine Walk” is a free, self guided tour wherein visitors follow a painted sidewalk depiction of a piece of twine that winds through the charming town of Cawker City.
The painted twine markings go past various art displays, all of which have a piece of twine hidden within them. Visitors can make a game of it to try and see who can find the piece of twine hidden in the artwork first.
Though it may sound cheesy at first, it is actually a great way to get young children interested in art. Most enjoy trying to find the picture within a picture. Plus the artwork in and of itself will please most casual art observers.
In addition, visitors to Cawker City can arrange to add their own piece of twine to Farmer Frank’s creation. Those interested in doing so will need to contact the ball’s current caretakers, “The Cawker City Community Club.”
World’s Largest Ball of Twine
Wisconsin Street and Highway 24
Cawker City, KS 67430
Those travelers who desire more information about other quirky Kansas attractions should log onto the state’s tourism website.