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At just over two square miles and with less than 3,000 inhabitants, the town of Casey in Illinois might be among the smaller towns of the United States, but it's home to some of the biggest things in the world. These include a wind chime, a rocking chair, knitting needles and a crochet hook, a mailbox, a pitchfork, a golf tee, a pair of wooden shoes, a coin, a birdcage, a yardstick, a pencil, a ear of corn, saguaro cactus and many more. Eight of these have found place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Behind all these big attractions is a single man —local businessman Jim Bolin.

Bolin is the vice president of Bolin Enterprises Inc., which started out as a small paint and body shop operating out of his family garage. Today it employs 240 people and does oil and natural gas pipeline maintenance work across nearly half the country. But not all businesses in Casey shared Bolin’s success. Over the years Bolin watched several Casey businesses close shop — a shoe factory, a tools and manufacturing shop, a hardware store, a feed store. When the recession hit in the late 2000s, even Bolin started to feel the crunch. That’s when he decided that he needed to boost tourism to the town to help the local economy.

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Photo credit: bigthingssmalltown.com

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