The days of travel by prairie schooner may be long gone. But the World’s Largest Covered Wagon is still a great stop on any road trip through Illinois.
Located along Route 66 in Lincoln, Illinois, the World’s Largest Covered Wagon was built by local resident David Bentley in 2001. The project initially began as something for Bentley to do while recovering from heart surgery. He crafted the Railsplitter Covered Wagon by hand using steel and locally sourced Illinois oak. Ultimately, he completed the project to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Route 66.
But the quirkiness of this roadside attraction doesn’t stop there. A fan of the 16th President of the United States, Bentley decided to add a 12-foot fiberglass Abraham Lincoln—built by FAST Fiberglass in Sparta, Wisconsin—to the wagon’s seat. The giant Lincoln has the President’s typical beard as well as stovepipe top hat, and appears to be reading a book simply called “Law.” Even before this roadside oddity, Lincoln was no stranger to Logan County. He traveled to the area frequently as a circuit riding lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit. In fact, Lincoln, Illinois became the only town in the country named for (and by) Abraham Lincoln before he became president.
Guinness World Records named the Railsplitter Covered Wagon the “world’s largest” after Bentley completed its construction in 2001. At the time, the World’s Largest Covered Wagon stood in front of his home in Divernon, Illinois. However, in 2007, local philanthropist Larry Van Bibber purchased the wagon from Bentley and donated it to the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County. It was then moved to another location in Lincoln and in 2009, came to rest at its current spot along Route 66.
Fast Facts: World’s Largest Covered Wagon
If you’re planning to visit, you’ll find this giant wagon on the front lawn of the Hotel Lincoln Inn. The attraction faces Route 66 and has ample parking thanks to the neighboring hotel and American Legion.
Keep in mind that if you’re visiting during the winter that the covered on the wagon is removed to help keep the roadside attraction safe until its replaced in the spring.
World’s Largest Covered Wagon, 1750 5th Street in Lincoln, Illinois
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