Massachusetts: The Paper House
> Location: Rockport
In 1922, after attempting to insulate his summer home with newspapers, mechanical engineer Elis Stenman took his experiment a step further and built nearly his entire house out of them. Besides the floor, ceilings, and frame, everything in the house, including furniture, walls, and doors, is made of newspapers — a total of 100,000.
Michigan: Da Yoopers Tourist Trap
> Location: Ishpeming
“Yoopers” is a term used to describe people who live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Tourist Trap, located on U.S.-41 west of Ishpeming, is about having fun and spending money. A sign very directly says: “Welcome to Yooperland. Relax, enjoy, spend all your cash. But please don’t move up here.”
Minnesota: Jolly Green Giant
> Location: Blue Earth
The 55.5-foot Jolly Green Giant statue grew out of a local radio station owner’s “Welcome Travelers” program. As he interviewed people who passed through town, he gave them Green Giant vegetables (canned in a local factory) at the end of each show. The guests would sometimes ask, “Where’s the Green Giant?” An idea and a monument were born.
Mississippi: Devil’s Crossroads
> Location: Corners of Highways 61 and 49, Clarksdale
The intersection of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi is rumored to be the spot where famous blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his guitar prowess. The location is now marked with a pole displaying three huge blue guitars and a sign designating it “The Crossroads.”
Missouri: Nuclear Waste Adventure Trail and Museum
> Location: Weldon Spring
Formerly the site of an explosives factory and then a uranium refinery, this artificial hill in Missouri is an entombed hazardous waste site. After 15 years of cleanup and hundreds of millions of dollars spent, the Weldon Spring Site Remedial Action Project Disposal Cell — as it’s called officially — is now considered a safe recreational area and is a popular spot for birdwatchers and stargazers.
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