Giant thermometer on road from Southern California to Las Vegas relit after renovation

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: July 10, 2014 - 11:35 PM

BAKER, Calif. — A giant thermometer rising from the Southern California desert is once again a beacon for tourists headed to and from Las Vegas.

The roadside attraction off Interstate 15 in Baker was relit Thursday after a major renovation.

The July 10 date is significant: it was on the same day in 1913 that the hottest official temperature on Earth was recorded in Death Valley.

Willis Herron built the thermometer to a height of 134 feet to match that record.

Herron's widow, Barbara, says it made her sad to see the Baker landmark — billed as the "World's Largest Thermometer" — fall into disrepair in recent years.

Her family took it over again, aiming to make its 5,000 light bulbs glow once more — although they've now been replaced with energy-saving LEDs.

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