By Julianne G. Crane
If roadside attractions 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 the northwest corner of the Corn Husker State.
Carhenge, consisting of a circle of 38 cars, replicates Stonehenge. Artist Jim Reinders had lived in England and studied the design and purpose of Stonehenge. A post on the previous Carhenge website stated: “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.”
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.”