Maxie, the World’s Largest Goose – Sumner, Missouri

Maxie, aka the World's Largest Goose

photography by: John Margolies/ Wikimedia Commons

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For all intents and purposes, Sumner Missouri is a typical, low-key townlet of rural America. Apparently, the only thing separating Sumner from a total obscurity is its ample geese population. As a tribute to Sumner’s feathered critters, a massive 12-meter-tall goose made of fiberglass was erected along the town’s MO-139 road. Maxie, as her name goes by, prides herself as the world’s largest goose, an incredibly hefty title for such a small town.

With less than 100 inhabitants and tens of thousands of migratory geese, it is easy to see why Sumner MO is often dubbed the wild goose capital of the world. As you’d expect from a place where humans are outnumbered by geese by a ratio of nearly 1:1000, the town revolves around its beloved bird. Evidently, Sumner has its own annual Goose Festival and apparently so, also a sculpted figure of a goose entitled “The World’s Largest Goose”.

 

Named Maxie, the goosey statue was created in 1976 by sculptor David Jackson. As Maxie was assembled in Kansas City, she had to hitch a ride with a helicopter to her current whereabout in Sumner. Installed over a large cinderblock pedestal amid the town’s verdant lawns, the giant goose was created using steel as a skeleton and fiberglass as a skin.

 

Featuring a wingspan of a whopping 62 feet (19 meters) and a weight of roughly 4,000 pounds (2 tons), the 40 feet tall bird (12 meters) far eclipses any other goose around the world, living and sculpted alike. To counterbalance the area’s occasionally strong winds, Maxie was placed on a bearing that allows her to oscillate by a whisker, thus absorbing any abnormal air current.

 

For visitors, the gargantuan fowl might look as if she is about to land, or take off, but make no mistake, Maxie is here to stay. In fact, given Sumner’s miniscule size, the sculpture is by far the most conspicuous monument town-wide, even managing to attract dozens of curious gawkers from afar each year.