Every town’s got to be known for something, I guess. I was born and raised in The Rocket City — Huntsville, Alabama — and worked for a newspaper in The Limestone Capital of the World — Bedford, Indiana. But how would you like to be from a town known for having the world’s largest catsup bottle? That claim-to-fame belongs to the folks of Collinsville, Illinois.
Collinsville was home to a catsup (more commonly spelled ketchup) factory back in the early 1900s, and in 1949, the makers of Brooks Catsup built a 100,000 gallon water tower in the shape of a catsup bottle. The company no longer makes catsup in Collinsville, but the bottle is still there. It was at risk of being torn down in the mid-90s but the Brooks Catsup Bottle Preservation Group formed and raised more than $75,000 to restore the bottle-shaped water tower, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Collinsville is also the self-proclaimed Horseradish Capital of the World. Like I said, every town’s got to be known for something.