Skinny Indian with large black shoes.

Big John: Giant Indian

Field review by the editors.

Kingsport, Tennessee

Even though it's no Gatlinburg or Memphis, Kingport does its part to keep Tennessee on vacation maps. There you'll find several out-of-proportion landmarks: a huge hot dog and french fries, a "Big Pal" muffler man serving up a quarter-tonner with cheese, and a tall, skinny Indian warrior named Big John.

Kingsport's Indian, who is just across Highway 1 from the hot dog and fries, is not a Muffler Man -- he's even bigger! Big John stands 32 feet tall, and was built in 1954 by John Barker, who stood him in front of his Honest John's gift shop. When Barker retired in 1971 he sold the building and Big John to Pratt's Barn restaurant, and the big brave has remained there ever since. The local high school teams are "The Indians," so the big brave is an icon of local pride.

Big John has a rigid pose, and is held upright by an external frame across his back. His lack of clothes would freeze any real mountain-dwelling Tennessee Indian, and his big, shiny, black shoes would be useless on the forest trails. Perhaps this Indian is one in transition, just starting his new wardrobe, staring at the giant snacks across the street, his hands ready to grasp the fast food bounty.

Big John: Giant Indian

Pratt's Barn

1225 E. Stone Drive, Kingsport, TN
Pratt's Barn. I-181 to Stone Drive exit. East about three miles, south side of the road.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Fries, Hot Dog, ShakeBig Fries, Hot Dog, Shake, Kingsport, TN - < 1 mi.
Purple CowsPurple Cows, Kingsport, TN - < 1 mi.
Muffler Man Holding a HamburgerMuffler Man Holding a Hamburger, Kingsport, TN - 3 mi.
In the region:
Bronze Andrew Johnson, Greeneville, TN - 32 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Tennessee

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Tennessee.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights Trip Planner

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America iPhone app
Roadside Presidents iPhone app

Tennessee Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Maxie, the World's Largest Goose, Sumner, Missouri (Apr 12-18, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now