Darwin's Twine Ball Museum
The Darwin Museum is home to the largest ball of twine made by one man, but the museum has a lot more to share that helps tell the story of the small town’s history.
Visitors of the museum will not only get a close-up of the twine ball, but they will also see many donated items throughout, including baseball memorabilia as part of an exhibit on Darwin town ball.
Possibly the most legendary of Darwin’s baseball history are two of its own players Fred “Lefty” Miller and Milt Goemer, who went off to play professional baseball.
In August of 2011, a painting titled “Lefty Miller on the Mound,” painted by Lavona Keskey, was donated to the museum and city. It portrays the July 4, 1908, double-header game when Miller pitched a four-hit shutout for the St. Paul Saints, defeating the Minneapolis Millers 3-0 at Lexington Park in St. Paul.
Pictures of the town’s teams can also be seen in an exhibit located in the museum’s new addition, along with baseball uniforms and the Goemer MVP trophy and ring.
The Largest Ball of Twine
What truly has put Darwin on the map, bringing thousands of visitors from around the world to the town each year, has been its famous ball of twine.
The largest ball of twine made by one man can easily be viewed in a gazebo in front of the museum.
Francis Johnson, son of US congressman Magnus Johnson, wound his first piece of baler twine in March 1950.
As the ball grew, Johnson could no longer wrap the twine by hand and had to use large railroad jacks, that were built to lift boxcars, to move the ball of twine.
The ball was completed in 1979, and recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest ball of twine.
It weighs 8.7 tons, is 11 feet high, and measures 40 feet in diameter. Although this is still the largest ball of twine made by one man, it was removed from the book in 1994, by a ball of plastic twine made by several people and weighing considerably less.
Every summer, the town celebrates what it’s most famous for with Twine Ball Day, scheduled annually on the second Saturday in August.
The museum is open during the Twine Ball Day celebration, and by appointment. Contact Chris Hansen home phone number at 275-4016.
Twine Ball Day
The second Saturday in August, Darwin’s downtown is abuzz with visitors from near and far who come to celebrate the largest ball of twine.
The 22nd annual Darwin Twine Ball Celebration, set for Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, will feature a parade, craft fair, kid’s pedal tractor pull, a pork chop dinner, opportunities to tour the Twine Ball Museum, sand volleyball tournaments, and live music in the park.
One of the top attractions during the event is the Minnesota Minn-e-Rods tractor pull, which takes place right on Main Street in Darwin. Here, competitors of all ages compete to see who has the strongest lawn tractor.
The Darwin Twine Ball Celebration also includes raffle drawings with cash prizes, food vendors, and kids’ games in the park.