After following the same route of busier US Highway 287, US Highway 81 exits onto its own route. This route takes the highway right through the town of Bowie, Texas. As you round into the first curve entering Bowie mere steps from the “Welcome to Bowie” sign, visitors are welcomed by more than just words on a sign.
"When we first started out the project, the knife was only going to be around 4 feet just on top of the Bowie sign as you come into town. We got to talking and we were talking about Big Tex and just some things that are around Texas and we thought, let’s make this thing big," Bowie Knife Project Committee Co-Chairman Bryan Brown said.
And “make this thing big” is exactly what they did. Spanning 20 feet in length, weighing around 3,000 pounds, and able to withstand up to 90 mph winds along with 2 inches of ice; the Bowie Knife is now an iconic part of this town. “It was a front cover in Fort Worth, it’s been in San Antonio. We were contacted by Knife World News out of New York City,” Bowie Knife Project Committee Co-Chairman Van Baize said. Baize also says that the project has garnered attention from the public as well saying that he has seen traffic pick up and people come into town to see the knife. “And we haven’t even put any billboards up”, Baize said.
Raised in April, the Bowie Knife was an idea thought process by Mr. Bob Hadley. Hadley was a local horse trainer and sculptor and wanted to see something built that would bring notoriety to Bowie.
“He thought that would be something that would be special to attract visitors, encourage tourism, and bring dollars into our town,” said Baize.
Hadley came up with the design and was going to build the knife himself but was killed in a car accident before he could do so. After Hadley’s death, Van Baize and Bryan Brown restarted the plans and helped make the project into a reality. Recently, the Bowie Knife has hit another milestone by being added into the Guinness World Records. Brown said, “It was about a 6 month process and finally they accepted our application and we’re in there now.”
There are still a few additions to the knife left to make, marble and plaques will be put on all sides of the concrete base as well as a marble to cover the top. Once that is completed, officials from the Guinness World Records will be invited to make the accomplishment official.