Every community has its icons—things that it is famous for and that are beloved by people from all around the region. It might be a sign, a house or a beautiful mural.
But one community in Missouri has a particularly unique icon—a jar of pickles that has been sitting next to the highway more or less consistently for several years.
The jar has been sitting by the side of the road since 2012. It was first noticed by a local woman named Barb Steen, who lives nearby. Steen has been keeping watch over the container ever since. No matter what was happening—snow, construction, sun, traffic, etc.—the jar remained.
After a few years of noticing the pickles, Steen started a Facebook group dedicated to this particular jar—“Team Pickle.” “There has got to be a story behind these pickles, and inquiring minds want to know,” she wrote. “Let’s make them famous!”
At least one half of her wish came true—the pickle container caught the attention of an international news outlet. But the source of the pickles or why someone decided to place them where they did remains a mystery. People have certainly shared their theories on the Facebook page; two of the most popular speculations are that the jar is a shrine to someone who loved pickles or that the jar was left by aliens.
But the attention that the Facebook group created led to the pickles’ first disappearance. Granted, the jar had become rather weather-beaten and old after all of that time, but the group’s members were still quite sad. One member even wrote a poem: “A jar/ Viewed from afar/Has left a scar/Upon our hearts/Alas it departs!”
And it wasn’t long before a second jar replaced the first. The group celebrated. More fans joined. As the years went on, the glass container would sometimes topple over in inclement weather and shatter, or simply disappear. But it was never long before a vigilant fan would replace it with a new jar.
The jar began to attract media attention when a Reddit thread about the container went viral, and the story got picked up in the press. The jar now has fans as far away as Hawaii and the United Kingdom.
The jar has even inspired a copycat one closer to St. Louis, but as Barbara Steen and all the jar’s first fans can attest, there will only ever be one original.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.