During our travels in Michigan, Tom and I stopped to see the “World’s Largest Weathervane.” We often joke that if you put enough qualifiers in front, everything is the largest, oldest, tallest something. We take those designations with a grain of salt. But “The World’s Largest Weathervane was on our way to our next campground, so we decided to stop.
The World’s Largest Weathervane sits in a pocket park in Montague, Michigan. The weathervane is 48 feet tall and its arrow is 26 feet long. It weighs 3,500 pounds and is made of steel and aluminum. The ship is the schooner Ella Ellenwood which was a White Lake lumber schooner. The Ella Ellenwood delivered timber from Montague to Chicago and Milwaukee. The lumber industry helped to “settle” the area around Montague. The weathervane turns on two large ball bearing assemblies and it doesn’t require much wind to move.
The weathervane shone in the sun on the beautiful day when we were there. The pocket park has several plaques and signs that talk about the weathervane and the Ella Ellenwood. It is very well maintained and a lovely little place. We parked at the grocery store adjacent to the park and then walked around the little downtown area a little. It was a nice stop with an interesting centerpiece.
Is the weathervane in Montague really the World’s Largest Weathervane? According to Wikipedia, it is in the top four. Guinness World Records lists a weathervane in Spain as the largest, although I couldn’t find it on their website. There is a working weathervane that is a DC-3 at the airport in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, and it seems like that would be larger than this one. The tallest functioning weathervane is at the Canadian Tractor Museum in Westlock, Alberta, Canada. It is 50 feet tall, two feet taller than the one in Montague.
Montague also has a historic blacksmith shop and is the southern terminus of a great bike trail – the Hart-Montague Rail Trail. The Hart-Montague trail, in particular, is a great reason to stop in Montague. With all that said, however, I can definitively state that the weathervane in Montague, Michigan is the largest weathervane in the United States. It is worth a look if you are driving on US 31 in Michigan.