World's Largest 20th Century Pecan
The World's Largest 20th Century Pecan still rules the landscape outside the small town of Brunswick.
George and Elizabeth James ran their pecan farm on the outskirts of Brunswick, Missouri, for nearly 60 years. In 1982 they built a concrete replica of their patented Starking Hardy Giant pecan, a tasty strain discovered by George on the property in 1947. Today, the area is thick with pecan farms -- the Brunswick Pecan Festival is held every October.
The pecan sits in front of what was once the Nut Hut roadside stand, their home, and a couple of outbuildings. It weighs 12,000 pounds and is 7x12 feet, visible on the north side of Rt. 24, a two-lane road paralleling occasionally busy railroad tracks. The old postcard view is great -- a wide angle, rendering the pecan bus-sized.
Flood damage, coupled with fading health [George died in 1998], took a toll on the big pecan. We visited early one summer evening; the Nut Hut was closed, but the pecan and its sign caught the bright rays of the setting sun.
An outer wall of the Nut Hut building featured one of our favorite cartoon sign images: a mad, murderous hammer, with arms and legs, chasing a very sad giant pecan.
We were told by George and Elizabeth's daughter, Sandy James Naylor, that the hammer's name was "Wham," and was featured in a book her brother had written -- a book measuring 8 feet by 8 feet that was put on display for a time in the Nut Hut...
With the passing of George and Elizabeth, the pecan farm was run for a time by their children -- but by 2010 the farm was closed and the property began being sold off. The giant pecan, although no longer the world's largest, remains.