World's Largest Penny


Woodruff Wisconsin

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Woodruff Wisconsin (Pop. 1,982)

In 195(?), a giant penny was dedicated to commemorate the amazing story of an "angel on snowshoes". Dr. Kate Newcomb was a country doctor responding to a need - the community of Woodruff Wisconsin desperately needed a hospital, but it seemed a daunting task. Wherever she went, she heard "It can't be done." "There's no money." "Don't bother." But, like most true visionaries, she didn't listen. In 1953 she started the Million Penny Parade.

Dr. Kate spearheaded a movement to build a hospital. Local children sought to collect a million pennies for Dr. Kate's hospital. The effort captured the imagination of the American people and the world. Donations of pennies came in from every state and many foreign nations. Today, the World's Largest Penny sits in the city park of this picturesque northern Wisconsin town, and the community created the Dr. Kate Museum in 1988.

So, the hospital was built, the monuments was made, and on 2003, the community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Million Penny Parade. The hospitalis now the Howard Young Medical Center (which they proudly proclaim started with just one penny...)and the anniversary parade featured partisipants of the first Million Penny Parade as well as Dr. Kate Babies - those citizens delivered by Dr. Kate, a dedicated doctor that made house calls on snowshoes through the harsh northern winters.

The penny itself is a large concrete foot-thick replica, and an average person standing in front would just hit the top of the embossed 1953 date on the face of the penny. While the sculpting of the low-relief Lincoln is a little rough, the sentiment, dedication, and amazing feat is symbolizes makes your eyes mist . It's visionary people like Dr. Kate Newcomb that shape this place we call America, where people dream big and communities build World's Largest Things.


World's Largest Penny Stats

It's a 1953 penny, hand-molded and shaped concrete, my 5'3" head hit about nose level.
According to an article from Country Discoveries, the concrete penny replica "... made of concrete and weighing 17,452 pounds, symbolized the 1.7 million pennies collected at the time, or $17,000. The continuing campaign netted more than $100,000."


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