World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock
More than three decades ago, the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock graced the cover of the 1978 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. The supersize timekeeper — measuring 23 1/2 feet high, 24 feet wide and 6 1/2 feet deep — had been built on the hill behind Wilmot’s Alpine Alpa restaurant six years earlier as a way to help boost tourism.
Its mechanized Swiss polka band trotted out on stage every half hour to put on a show for the restaurant’s patrons. But time and weather took its toll on the attraction, and in 2007 the cuckoo clock had to be relocated from the hillside to a spot closer to the restaurant for repairs. By that time, the business was under new ownership, bearing the name Grandma’s Alpine Homestead, and when that restaurant closed in 2009, everything went up for auction, including the clock.
Walnut Creek Cheese owner Mark Coblentz thought the attraction belonged in Sugarcreek, a village that bills itself as Ohio’s “Little Switzerland,” so he bought it. Mayor Clayton Weller led the two-year effort to have the clock fixed and installed downtown. Now, he’s finding creative ways to keep it going.
“We’ve got a machine shop [in town] and the guy just loves to tinker,” Weller says. “We’ll take a part out and he’ll remanufacture it, and we’re back to running again.” Main and North Broadway streets, Sugarcreek 44681; show every half hour 9 a.m.–9 p.m. except during cold winter months; free