What are you known for?

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.

450px-collinsville_watertower.jpgCollinsville 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.

So just how do you top having the world’s largest catsup bottle? Make the world’s largest catsup packet! And the town of Collinsville did just that last weekend.

Collinsville is also the self-proclaimed Horseradish Capital of the World. Like I said, every town’s got to be known for something.


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