Herron sold the attraction and restaurant to another local businessman, who sold it again. After changing hands several times, the thermometer was not being maintained and in September 2012 the thermometer was turned off! The owner at that time, said that the power bill for its operation had reached $8,000 per month and that he turned it off due to the poor economy.
After being turned off the thermometer became in total disrepair and there was talk of tearing it down, which devastated Willis Herron’s Widow Barbara and his family. Barbara Herron vowed if she could ever get the thermometer back she would pay to restore it.
The family of Willis Herron recovered ownership of the property in March 2014 and Barbara Herron used her savings to bring it back to its glory! The family worked with YESCO sign company restoring the thermometer, this was dubbed, “The Big Fix”.
The “Big Fix” was completed and the thermometer was relit four months later, on July 10, 2014. The 101st anniversary of the world’s hottest day!
The World’s Tallest Thermometer is located adjacent to Interstate 15 in Southern California's Mojave Desert at 72157 Baker Boulevard in Baker. Along the interstate, the landmark is visible from three different sides. There is a souvenir store, Temp 134 Gift Shop, located at the base of the thermometer.
The World's Tallest Thermometer is completed.
Strong winds knock down the World's Tallest Thermometer.
October 9, 1992
'The Great Turn On' The World's Tallest Thermometer is finally turned on.
Hottest temperature ever recorded on The World's Tallest Thermometer... 127 degrees Fahrenheit!
Due to declining health, Willis Herron sold the thermometer. Changes made by the new owners to save money included less light bulbs, removal of red bulbs, and red painted panels instead of bulbs.
The thermometer changes hands again. The new owners turned the thermometer into a sign. Willis Herron never wanted the thermometer used as a sign AND vowed to the town that it never would. Thankfully, he never saw it this way.
July 11, 2007
Willis Herron, founder of the World's Tallest Thermometer dies at home surrounded by family. He was 82.
The World's Tallest Thermometer is turned off due to high electric bills and the economic downturn.
March 10, 2014
The World's Tallest Thermometer returns to the hands of the Herron family and repairs begin immediately.
July 10, 2014
The World's Tallest Thermometer was turned back on after being dark for several years. Temp 134 Gift Shop is opened, where all proceeds are used to keep the thermometer lit!
October 11, 2014
Grand opening and dedication ceremony! The World’s Tallest Thermometer was dedicated to Willis and Barbara Herron!
It weighs 76,812 pounds and is held together by 125 cubic yards of concrete. It stands 134 feet tall and it is capable of displaying a maximum temperature of 134, which commemorates the WORLD’S HOTTEST DAY! The record temperature 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.67 degrees Celsius) recorded in nearby Death Valley on July 10, 1913.
It was built in 1991 by the Young Electric Sign Company of Salt Lake City, Utah; for Willis Herron, a local businessman who spent $750,000 to build the thermometer next to his Bun Boy restaurant. After its completion, and before it was ever officially lit, high winds blew the thermometer over. It was rebuilt following its collapse to be even stronger and resistant to the high winds. It was completed in October of 1992 and it has been standing ever since.