Photo Friday: World’s Largest Rocking Chair

Thanks to pandemic-related lockdowns, most of us are stuck at home and probably sitting a lot more than usual. And that puts me in mind of a chair. This is not just any chair. This Missouri landmark was the world’s largest rocking chair.

The last time I took a road trip to a conference in the Midwest, I was searching for a more interesting road home than the usual interstate trek, and decided to get my kicks through Missouri along Route 66. I stayed at a motel with a neon wagon wheel sign and marveled at buildings shaped like household goods, and I visited and photographed kitschy roadside attractions, including the one-time World’s Largest Rocking Chair. It isn’t anymore; there is a town in Illinois whose residents have built their own supersized rocking chair that is even larger. But when I visited Fanning, Missouri, the Illinois contender was a recent enough development that the local signs still touted this one as the biggest.

Even if Fanning, Missouri’s entry is now only the world’s second largest rocking chair, the chance to see such cultural landmarks makes a Route 66 trip worth the extra time. It sure beats interstate driving!

Erected on April Fool’s Day 2008, this mighty rocking chair stands 42-feet-4-inches high on rockers that are 31.5 feet long and weigh a ton apiece. Assembled out of steel pipe, the whole chair weighs in at 27,500 pounds. It was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest until 2015, when a 56-foot high rocker in Casey, Illinois, knocked it out of contention. But It’s still the largest rocking chair on Route 66. (Photo by Catherine M. Petrini)

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