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America Unhenged: 7 Great Stonehenge Replicas – Travel – Street Journeys

It’s exhausting to clarify why America is filling up with replica Stonehenges. Thousands of miles from England, on solitary vistas in locations akin to Alliance, Neb.and Fortine, Mont.residents have taken it upon themselves to construct their very own Stonehenges, generally true to the unique, typically merely inspired by it. It is an obsession as mysterious and primal as the unique circle of rock slabs.

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To offer you an concept of Stonehenge’s energy to bewitch, an expert stoneworker who labored on a practically full-sized replica that went up in 2004 on the College of Texas, Permian Basin (in Odessa) said that he would be glad if he just built Stonehenges for the rest of his life. It is as if everybody has an inside Druid that yearns to be free.

At, we now have our personal theories — and our personal obsession. For the previous 20 years, in our books and Web site, we have catalogued hundreds of Old World landmarks rebuilt to American requirements. But Stonehenge is particular. We determine that the historical megaliths should emit an invisible vitality subject highly effective sufficient to enslave sculptors, builders, and the odd man with too much time on his hands.

Sam Hill’s Stonehenge: Maryhill, Wash.
The primary American replica Stonehenge, and still one of the vital dramatic, was truly erected in error. Sam Hill, a rich railroad govt, known to historical past principally as an “advocate of fine roads,” built his Stonehenge in Maryhill, Wash.on a lonely bluff overlooking the Columbia River south of Goldendale. A pacifist, Hill mistakenly believed that Stonehenge had been a site of human sacrifice. By constructing a replica, he supposed to memorialize the soldiers of Klickitat County who had lost their lives in World War I, a reminder that “humanity is still being sacrificed to the god of war.”

Sam Hill’s Stonehenge, constructed to scale out of bolstered concrete, was devoted in 1918 — the first World Conflict I monument in America — but it surely wasn’t completed until twelve years later. By then, Maryhill, an experimental Quaker group, had been abandoned, and Sam Hill, who was identified for his erratic bursts of manic power, was in a deep depression. He died in 1931, residing just long sufficient to see his Stonehenge accomplished, and is buried in a lone grave at the base of the bluff.

America’s Stonehenge: North Salem, N.H.
Really, whether or not or not Sam Hill’s Stonehenge is the first in America is determined by how one defines a Stonehenge: do appearances matter most, or do spooky powers If it is the latter, then the enigmatic “America’s Stonehenge” in North Salem, N.H.wins the prize. It would not look something like its namesake — in truth, it looks like a wooded hillside of tumble-down rocks — but it is the one American Stonehenge with an “oracle chamber,” a “sacrificial stone,” and different ominously named options.

America’s stone island sweatshirt gumtree Stonehenge claims to be the oldest megalithic site in America, however it is a boast that has been disputed, and the meaning of the place is open to anybody’s interpretation. Was it constructed by ancient Greeks or Phoenicians By wayward Irish monks, centuries earlier than Columbus Or by a new England farmer who just wanted a quiet spot to make soap and retailer roots The curious are inspired to ponder the mysteries right here yr-spherical, and in the winter the attraction thoughtfully rents snowshoes to its visitors.

The Georgia Guidestones: Nuberg, Ga.
After Sam Hill’s Stonehenge was completed, none had been built stateside for almost 50 years. Then a granite company outdoors of Nuberg, Ga.was approached by a mysterious stranger who referred to as himself “R.C. Christian,” which he admitted was a fake identify. The stranger wanted a Stonehenge built — he had a model stone island sweatshirt gumtree of it in a shoe box — and had selected Nuberg because it was remote and because it offered good granite. Mr. Christian reportedly left $50,000 in an area bank, advised the locals that they’d never see him again, and vanished endlessly.

The citizens of Nuberg, following Mr. Christian’s detailed instructions, erected what are actually known as the Georgia Guidestones on a windswept hilltop — six granite monoliths, each nineteen feet tall. On the upright slabs, carved in eight totally different languages (together with Swahili and Sanskrit), are Ten Commandments for the approaching “Age of Purpose,” encouraging visitors to “unite humanity,” “guide reproduction correctly,” and “keep away from useless officials.” The Guidestones warn, “Be not a most cancers on the earth.”

Carhenge: Alliance, Neb.
A household reunion in 1987 produced what has change into America’s best-identified quirky Stonehenge: “Carhenge,” built in a dusty subject outdoors of Alliance, Neb.below the supervision of farmer Jim Reinders, who meant it as a memorial to his dad. What made Carhenge unique was that it was manufactured from, properly, vehicles — 38 of them, rescued from nearby farms and dumps. The Reinders family spray-painted the cars a flat gray to make the monument extra correct. Two international vehicles had been initially part of Carhenge, but they have been subsequently dragged away and buried, changed by fashions from Detroit. The “heel stone” is a 1962 Caddy. At Carhenge, celebrants conduct a fashionable pagan ritual involving a weiner automobile.

The residents of Alliance at first wanted to tear down Carhenge. The Nebraska Department of Highways wanted to label it a “junkyard” and erect a big fence around it. However the animosity has lengthy since passed, and indicators on the outskirts of town now proudly establish Alliance because the “Residence of Carhenge.” Postcards are readily out there and a visitors’ middle is being built at the positioning. Carhenge has even spawned its personal adjacent automobile-artwork sculpture park with native visionaries contributing such works as “The Fourd Seasons” (a tribute to wheat) and “The Carnastoga Wagon.”

Carhenge might have finally gone mainstream, appearing in automotive commercials, and every street-tradition picture e-book — like its predecessor (and arguably its inspiration), the Cadillac Ranch.

Stonehenge II: Kerrville, Texas
Two years after Carhenge went up, the Stonehenge bug bit an eccentric, retired oilman named Al Shepperd of Kerrville, Texas. Al was given a big slab of limestone for his birthday, and he set it on end in a roadside pasture. To his dismay, nobody seen his rock. Satisfied that drivers needed to concentrate, Al at first thought of filling the pasture with a pyramid, then a Polynesian temple, then a pretend flying saucer crash site. He settled for a couple of Easter Island heads and “Stonehenge II,” which claims to be 60 p.c as giant as the original.

The “stones” are made from plaster-covered steel, and plans are within the offing to stabilize the monument by filling its hollow pillars with cement. For the second, however, this is the only Stonehenge that rings whenever you faucet it. When Al Shepperd died in 1994, he had is ashes scattered at the location.

Foamhenge: Pure Bridge, Va.
The award for quickest Stonehenge ever erected has to go to Mark Cline of Pure Bridge, Va.who arrange most of his replica, “Foamhenge,” in a single day. It is loads simpler to carve styrofoam than rock.

Foamhenge can also be one of the photogenic Stonehenges on the planet, set on a bluff amid the fairly Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a remarkably life like replica. Cline, who is a fiberglass artist — his specialty is dinosaurs — took sixteen-foot-tall blocks of styrofoam, carved them into the shapes of the original megaliths, spray-painted them grey, then drove them a mile down Hwy eleven in his pickup truck to the Foamhenge site.

Cline’s first try, which he admits was made from “inferior foam,” blew down after three months. Since then he has found a greater supplier, and Foamhenge is now a permanent attraction, with every block anchored into concrete. “Styrofoam is nonbiodegradeable,” Cline notes. “Foamhenge may final longer than the unique.”

Stonefridge: Santa Fe, N.M.
In distinction to speedy Mark Cline, it took artist Adam Horowitz 9 years to erect his all-refrigerator “Stonefridge” on an abandoned landfill in Santa Fe, N. M. This was partly because Horowitz’s supply of junk refrigerators was mysteriously bulldozed, twice, by an unappreciative metropolis authorities (so says Horowitz), and partly as a result of Horowitz noticed the development of his “anti-monument” as art quite than as a process with a deadline. He would costume his crew of volunteers in loincloths, himself in numerous authoritative costumes, and have the 200-pound fridges hauled into place using only tee pee poles, ropes and pulleys, and human muscle.

Now full, the 200+ refrigerators are stacked 18 ft excessive in an outer circle, dealing with inward towards a cluster of taller fridge towers. Not like other Stonehenge replicas, which mimic the astronomical alignment of the unique, Stonefridge has “atomic alignment” and faces a extra modern source of mysterious power — Los Alamos Nationwide Laboratories, which guests can see in the gap. Visiting Stonefridge after darkish isn’t really useful. Vandals have reportedly set off bombs inside the refrigerators.

Stonehenges still springing up
And the list goes on. There are nonetheless extra Stonehenges scattered across the American panorama.

One, which as soon as marked the entrance to exhausting-instances subdivision named “Stone Henge” in Athens, Georgia, was moved in the late nineteen nineties to a safer spot on the outskirts of the city.

A newly erected photo voltaic calendar of limestone monoliths has been dubbed “Stonehenge Jr.” by the locals of Wichita, Kan.

A half-size Stonehenge at the University of Missouri at Rolla was built to showcase the stone carving capabilities of its High Strain Water Jet Lab.

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Which results in the most recent development in Stonehenge building — personal Stonehenges. One just lately went up on a private estate in the elite town of Sachem Head, Conn.and one other — reportedly essentially the most correct Stonehenge replica ever made — has been constructed for a rich individual on the distant Crystal Lakes Resort in Fortine, Mont. A pair in Nunica, Mich. has a slightly downscaled Stonehenge in their front yard. It may be seen from the highway, although no trespassing is allowed.

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