Hello, les curieux!
It is so easy to claim to have “The ____est __________ in the World.” Such claims can and often do bring about conflict of opinion and perhaps even controversy.
If you have the random thought one day to look up “The World’s Largest Weather Vane,” you will find a few different results.
The United States’ contender for this title (which I guess could be considered “The Largest Weather Vane in the U.S.”) is at the corner of Dowling and Water St. in Montague, Michigan. It stands 48 feet tall and its arrow is 26 feet long.
And it does work quite easily, much to my surprise when I came up to it and it did indeed spin with the wind.
The schooner atop the weather vane is representative of the history of the area. Before modern modes of transportation, most travel (business and personal) in West Michigan was executed by boat. The schooner figure is specifically modeled after The Ellenwood, a lumber ship which ran aground in 1901. Fortunately, the crew made it to shore safe and sound. If only the same could be said for The Ellenwood.
Part of her wooden nameplate and a scale model can be seen in the Montague City Hall, which I unfortunately did not have time to see but I encourage you to take the time for this venture (8778 Ferry St., Montague, MI).
Like many roadside attractions, the location of the weather vane is not in the most idealistic setting, which I guess for me would mean historic buildings and void of much modernization. The weather vane sits in front of the parking lot to a grocery store.
As I said, there is conflict as to whether this actually is the largest in the world. The Guinness Book of World Records lists the largest weather vane as being in Spain, but I cannot find any specs for this one. The same goes for the other contender, which is located in the Yukon Territory in Canada. Though this one has no specs listed, either, it does have an actual DC-3 airplane as its figure. The pictures make it look like it is perhaps shorter than the one in Montague, Michigan, but surely the plane makes its horizontal length and weight more.
So… whether or not the weather vane in Montague, Michigan is the largest in the world, it is certain a sight to behold. Montague is a small town with a cute shopping area and is next to Lake Michigan. While you are there, you can stop by the Dog ‘n’ Suds restaurant that is nearby (and many Michigan residents will be delighted to know that one still exists).
Until the next venture, dahlings…