Not far from Beaumont Scout Reservation outside of Rock Creek, OH stands what was at one point the world’s largest rocking chair. It no longer holds the title, but I remember it being a prominent landmark telling me I was almost to Scout Camp.
The city of Bowie, TX wants to get into the “world’s largest game” in an attempt to boost tourism. The first step underway as they are installing what will be the world’s largest Bowie knife in honor of their town’s namesake. Funded by private dollars, the Bowie Knife Project eventually hopes to build a museum dedicated to Jim Bowie and his famous knife.
The knife is more than 20-feet-long and can sustain winds up to 90 miles per hour and two inches of ice. A masterpiece, many came out Monday to see.
“It’s kind of exciting, and hopefully it will bring more people into Bowie,” said Bonnie Kinder, a Bowie resident and city employee.
Project officials said that’s the goal; to provide a new stop off a busy highway, potentially generating a major economic boost.
“Bowie, the way it’s situated, we don’t get any traffic off 287 and into town,” said Van Baize with the Bowie Knife Project. “We feel like with the knife, if we get one percent of the traffic to come into town because of the knife, it will generate an excess of a million dollars a year in economic impact.”
It’s already working. Cars lined the street Monday morning as crews worked to secure the knife and fasten it to its foundation.
“We knew it was going to be put up, I just didn’t know it would be today,” said Patti Golden, a Bowie resident. “I wanted to see what it looked like and I’m thrilled with it.”
However, not every resident was pleased. Some thought it was a waste of money, and a disappointment, even though the $150,000 project was funded strictly through private donations. But to many others is Bowie, all the hard work has finally paid off.
“I think with the people that showed up, you know, they’re very receptive and just real excited to see what this is going to bring to our town, put Bowie on the map,”said Bryan Brown with the Bowie Knife Project.
While I am not surprised that there is a town named Bowie, TX, I did not know for sure (nor had I pondered the question much). I guess the knife is a success in bringing exposure to the town since I now am quite certain that Bowie, TX does in fact exist. That said, I am not altering my travel plans to take a gander at the World’s Largest Bowie Knife anytime soon.
While Texas’s knife laws are considerably better following KnifeRights’ victory on the TX Preemption bill last year, it is would still be illegal to try to carry the Bowie Bowie Knife unless you were on premises you own or in your car – even if it would fit.