Mayor of Darwin proud of city's 8.7 ton, 11-foot-tall ball of twine

Darwin Mayor Josh Johnson knows well the “distinctive smell” of twine.

“I happen to really enjoy it after this amount of time,” he told Fox 9 during a tour of the city’s famous, 8.7 ton ball of twine.

“I didn’t run a twine ball platform of any sort,” he said. “But I, like everyone else in Darwin, have pride that we host it.”

The massive ball - now housed in a gazebo-like structure on the town’s main street - is the creation of Francis Johnson. He started rolling the ball of twine in 1950 and didn’t stop for 29 years. Johnson died in 1989 and is celebrated inside the small museum next to his pride and joy.

“He would take it, unwind it, tie it up, square knot, then spool together,” said Johnson. “As you can see, he really cared about the spherical shape. He would move it with a railroad jack to keep the roundness.”

The ball stands 11 feet high and is about 40 feet around. It has hosted countless tourist visits, including the Troiber Family, who drove from Coon Rapids to see the ball Wednesday.

“I loved it, this is incredible -fun drive, fun place to go, to go look and check out the ingenuity of one person,” said Laura Troiber who visited the twin ball.

“Impressive that one guy rolled a 40 foot ball of twine,” added Mike Troiber. “I guess that’s what long Minnesota winters of.”