June 25, 2014

Baker's thermometer to reopen July 10

World's Largest Thermometer

The world's tallest thermometer in Baker. The thermometer will be rededicated on July 10, after several repairs and improvements. (LARAE HARGUESS)

Victorville Daily Press

BAKER — When it comes to temperatures, July 10 is a historical date.

In 1913, the hottest official temperature on Earth was recorded in Death Valley at 134 degrees on that date.

At 3 p.m. this July 10, the lights on the 134-foot world’s tallest thermometer in Baker will be turned on once again, according to LaRae Harguess. The event will be held in dedication to Willis Herron, who intentionally built the thermometer 134 feet to match the record hottest temperature.

Harguess, who is one of Herron’s daughters, says the family is holding a soft opening for its gift shop on that day as well. The official grand opening of both the thermometer and the gift shop will be held Oct. 11.

Harguess said her mother, Barbara Herron, was heartbroken over the disrepair of what was known for years as the Bun Boy thermometer and decided to use her own money to repair it. Harguess said her mother has spent $150,000 so far.

“All of the lighting, computer work, electrical had to be reconstructed,” Harguess said. The family was hoping to turn the thermometer back on by Memorial Day weekend.

“We ran into issues with Edison and light bulbs,” Harguess said. “We had a problem getting light bulbs. We needed a whole new computer system and testing. ... Everything happens for a reason.”

The official gift shop opening is waiting on more merchandise, according to Harguess. She said the family hopes to make enough money from sales in the gift shop to cover the costs to keep the thermometer on.

The July 10 event is open to the public.