SPECIAL REPORT: Bizarre Badger State - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

SPECIAL REPORT: Bizarre Badger State


(WAOW) - Roadside attractions sometimes feature the odd, weird and quirky.

Here in central Wisconsin, there's no shortage of them.

In Medford, west on County Highway M, Newsline 9 met "Chainsaw" Gordy Lekies.

"I've been in the timber business for 35 years," said Lekies.

That's long enough to grow an appreciation for the tool of his trade.

"All of a sudden, hey I got a collection started and then it gets to be addicting a little bit," said Lekies.

He created a small forest, but instead of branches and leaves coming out from the trunks, rusted blades and motors stick out instead. It creates the feel of a colorful, yet twisted Christmas tree lot.

"It was my wife Carol's idea that if you have a collection, it's not any good unless somebody can see it," said Lekies. "One day there was a pole here and then it started out and we went and we went and we went."

Until about 20 years later, the collection grew to 474 chainsaws, all different sizes and models.

"One thing for sure is the idea of one man's trash is another man's treasure, this is it!" said Lekies. "Everybody's got something and it really makes life fun. It makes it enjoyable."

In Neillsville, that something is Chatty Belle.

"We're right here in the middle of America's Dairyland so I wanted a cow," said Howie Sturtz, who once ran WCCN radio station in Neillsville.

About 47 years ago, Howie Sturtz introduced the 14-foot bovine statue to the station on Highway 10.

Chatty Belle stands next to the Wisconsin pavilion from the World's Fair.

"People look and they go oh that sure is a big cow!" said Sturtz.

For the small price of a quarter, she secures the title of "World's Largest Talking Cow" as she introduces her herself to those who visit.

"Kids really enjoyed seeing it and playing with her," said Sturtz. "They never got tired of standing in front of her and getting their picture taken because she was so large."

Radio station workers say during the summer, hundreds of people come each week to see her.

"We're glad to see it's still in Neillsville and people are still coming to see it and I hope it stays here forever," said Sturtz.

Forever might be how long this 1967 Chevy Impala stays on top of a silo in Marshfield on the 8000 block of Highway 80.

"I don't know how you'd get it down," said Noel Evans, the owner of the car.

Almost thirty years ago, Noel Evans got a crane to put his mother's old car atop his granary.

A "Ford Man" from birth, Evans says the decision was a no-brainer.

"Everbody tells me why didn't you have a Ford up there? Well if it was a Ford, it'd still be running," said Evans.

It creates a marker that makes giving out directions to his home a breeze.

"Everybody in the world knows where it is if they've ever been by," said Evans. "Even the airport, they've used it as a landmark kind of sometimes coming in too."

Evans says he hopes people continue to enjoy his sky high parking spot.

From cars to cows to chainsaws, perhaps bizarre is just what Wisconsin needs.

To view a map of where these roadside attractions are click here.

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