CHESTER - John Crawford has kept busy in his retirement by making birdhouses in a variety of shapes and sizes.
In the past few weeks, he has begun to make birdhouses fashioned after Chester's landmark - the World's Largest Teapot - and they are proving to be quite popular.
Contacted earlier this week, Crawford was working on repairs to his band saw so he could make more birdhouses.
Crawford said he has been making birdhouses for quite some time and sells them at River Island Collectibles on Carolina Avenue.
He said before he retired, some of his co-workers asked him about making birdhouses. He found it to be a fun and relaxing retirement hobby.
Making frequent trips to East Liverpool in recent weeks, Crawford said he got the idea the teapot would be a good subject for a birdhouse.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the teapot birdhouses goes to the building's maintenance fund, said Mary Lawrence, owner of River Island collectibles.
Lawrence said any items that come through her store that are related to the Teapot are popular.
"I think they're terrific," Lawrence said. "I'm a Teapot fan."
Mention of the city's landmark in the July 25 Parade Magazine generated an influx of visitors to the site and a lot of phone calls, said Marsha Nurmi, a member of the Chester-Newell Chamber of Commerce.
The World's Largest Teapot received national exposure in the Parade in a feature called "15 Ways to Breeze Through August."
Number five on the list was "Visit an American Original" and listed 50 quirky landmarks along America's highways. Chester's World's Largest Teapot was listed as No. 34.
Chester Council in recent months has been discussing the need for stepped-up maintenance of the teapot, especially since the national exposure over the summer drew many new fans.
Council also approved spending $300 for new lights and other Christmas decorations