How the World’s Largest Twins’ Festival Got Started

Every year, more than 3,000 sets of twins of all ages and from all around the world gather in Twinsburg, Ohio. It is the world’s largest annual gathering of twins! Held the first weekend in August, the Twins Days Festival is an occasion for fun, as well as scientific exploration. Each year, researchers and scientists show up to conduct various surveys and experiments with twin participants. Other events include a “Double Take” parade, a twins’ talent show, fireworks, a golf outing and other contests. There has even been a double wedding-twins marrying twins, of course! So, how did this amazing gathering get started? Here’s a history lesson:

Born on May 18, 1772, twins Moses and Aaron were born to Abel and Mary Wilcox in Killingworth, Connecticut. The twins were so identical that even their closest friends and family members had trouble separating them. They were also alike in temperament. If one was sad or ill, the other one became so, too, even if they were apart! As adults, they both served as officers in the War of 1812, and became prosperous merchants and manufacturers.

Their personal lives also ran parallel. They married sisters, Huldah and Mabel Lord, and both had nine children. With their families, they moved to Millsville, Ohio, and farmed together on jointly held land. They also sold small parcels of land for the Connecticut Land Company. Then the Wilcox twins made an odd request: They would give six acres of land to the town for a public square along with twenty dollars to be put toward building the first school if the town’s name was changed to Twinsburg. Their unusual request was granted!

The twins who did everything together nearly died together, too, only four years after arriving in Twinsburg. A few minutes after Aaron died in his home, Moses, who lived a half-mile away, is reported to have risen up in his bed and exclaimed, “My brother Aaron is dead, and I shall die, too,” which he did a little later in the day. The twins were buried together in the same grave, one above the other, in Twinsburg’s Locust Grove Cemetery.

A plaque in the town square reads: “In memory of Moses and Aaron Wilcox, the twin founders who gave Twinsburg its name, and this public park. They were unique in that they married sisters, had an equal number of children, held their property in common, were identical in appearance, were taken ill of the same disease, died on the same day, and are buried in the same grave.” It also states: “This monument erected as a permanent tribute to the foresight and integrity of the Wilcox twins who dedicated the land for this park and were instrumental in Twinsburg’s cultural, religious and educational growth.”

So, make your reservations now for the next gathering in Twinsburg, Ohio! Their official Web site is at www.twinsdays.org.