Today I discovered there is a tiny town in Illinois that is obsessed with gnomes, and now I have so many questions.

Photo by Lyndse Ballew on Unsplash
Photo by Lyndse Ballew on Unsplash
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I think we can all agree that a large portion of today's society loves gnomes, but I do not happen to be one of those people.

You might not know this about me, but when I'm not working at the radio station, I am at home making things. By things, I mean signs and other home decor pieces. I bring this up only because wherever I look for design inspiration, I am inundated with gnomes and I don't like it.

I'm not telling you this to try and convince you that gnomes are ugly, because not all of them are. I'm just fascinated by people's fascination with gnomes.

There's a Tiny Town in Illinois That REALLY Loves Gnomes.

Have you ever heard of Strasburg, Illinois before? This town located in the middle of Illinois had an official population of 528 people back in 2020, and I think we can say every single one of its residents really LOVES gnomes.

Proof of Strasburg's Loves of Gnomes

When I say that Strasburg, Illinois loves gnomes, I'm not just talking about a lot of residents having garden gnomes in their yeards. I'm talking official proof like having a gnome as the official town mascot and publishing a town newsletter every other month called "Gnome News".

Need more gnome-loving proof? Let's go...

 

1. Strasburg's official logo features a gnome, his name is Gnorman, and he has his own Facebook page.

 

 

2. Each month one lucky resident is chosen to receive their own garden gnome.

3. Back in 2010 Strasburg conducted their own 'Gnome Census' to determine how many garden gnomes lived within the town's limits.

Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash
Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash
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How Did Strasburg's Obsession With Gnomes Begin?

When a town centers its entire image on an inanimate object, one must figure out how it all began, right? I believe the answer lies in this 2010 article from The Bulletin which said;

The “gnome thing” — as some residents call it — is part of a larger effort Strasburg started in 2008 to keep the town alive. It created a tax-incentive district for businesses, started an effort to beautify the town and put up welcome signs

Since Strasburg began their "gnome thing", the population (of people and gnomes) has grown, they won a Governor's Hometown Award, and a gas station and convenience store actually opened in their town!

Who would have thought a garden gnome was the key to community success?!? Maybe I like gnomes a little more now.

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