When it comes to roadside attractions, there was a time when anyone could proclaim anything as the world’s largest of its kind: world’s largest pecan, world’s largest cow, world’s largest rocking chair, and so on. Similar giant things would pop up around the country, each proclaiming the title as their own.
But, in reality, only one could actually retain the title and there were two major factors that brought this to light: the Guinness Book of World Records and the internet.
The internet made it easy for anyone to find information about roadside attractions in America and on their road trip route. It also made it easier to compare notes and gather whether the world’s largest pecan is the 5’x2.5′ version in Seguin, Texas or the 7’x12′ version in Brunswick, Missouri.
And the Guinness Book of World Records made things official. Since the 1950s the organizations has been recording great feats, serving as the authority on the true roadside giants.
Big John, the “world’s largest rocking chair” was built in 2004 and sits outside of Long’s Furniture World in Franklin, Indiana (Amity). The wooden piece of furniture stands at 32 feet tall and was named after JD Long who owned the business until 2007. A sign onsite and their website claims that the Guinness Book of World Records recognized it as the “largest chair of it’s kind.”
And that might have been true when this giant chair was built in 2004. But, since then, it’s been trumped several times over. In 2008 the record was broken when a new World’s Largest Rocking Chair was built in Fanning, Missouri. That chair had a good ten feet on this one, at 42 feet, 4 inches tall. But then, in 2015, a 56.5 foot tall rocker was constructed in Casey, Illinois, blowing this and all other chairs out of its way.
So, the giant wooden rocking chair in Franklin, Indiana might not actually be the world’s largest rocking chair. But this, along with it’s accompanying big dresser, is still a fun stop on an Indiana road trip.
Big John: Former World’s Largest Rocking Chair
Address: Long’s Furniture World, 4108 S. US Hwy 31, Franklin, IN
Hours: Store hours vary, chair is always visible
Cost: Free to See