Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Carhenge still a creative delight after almost 30 years on Nebraska's high plains

Carhenge has been bringing smiles to passersby since 1987. (Julianne G. Crane)
If roadside attractions like the Popcorn Capital of the USA grab you enough to venture onto the two-lane back roads of north central Nebraska--and you happen to be traveling a little further west, consider checking out Carhenge in northwest corner of the Corn Husker State.

Carhenge, consisting of a circle of 38 cars, replicates Stonehenge.  According to the Carhenge website, Jim Reinders, the artist had lived in England and had studied the design and purpose of Stonehenge. "His desire to copy Stonehenge in physical size and placement came to fruition in the summer of 1987 ... The automobiles were placed to assume the same proportions as Stonehenge with the circle measuring approximately 96 feet in diameter. Some autos are held upright in pits five feet deep, trunk end down, while those cars which are placed to form the arches have been welded in place. All are covered with gray spray paint."

RVer Jimmy Smith walking through Carhenge. (Julianne G Crane)
This unique car sculpture was built as a memorial to the artist's father who once lived on the farm where Carhenge now stands.

As the story goes, in 1982 when the family gathered following the death of Reinders' father, they talked of a fitting tribute and the idea of a Stonehenge replica was developed. The family agreed to reunite in five years and build it. The clan, about 35 strong, returned in June 1987 and went to work. "They held the dedication on the Summer Solstice in 1987, with champagne, poetry, songs and a play written by the family."

Carhenge is open 24/7/365, with the preferred times for visiting are during the daylight hours. Absolutely no camping is allowed at the site. (However, we did go into our camper and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.) This roadside attraction is located north of Alliance, NE, on St. Rt. 87, near US 385. While it is free, donations are accepted.

 To read more of Julianne G Crane's work go to RVWheelLife.com

1 comment:

  1. A fun, interesting stop for anyone curious about the original Stonehenge and a "copycar" imitation
    in beautiful downtown Nebraska.