Lisa’s Favorite Places is spotlighting Visit Alliance NE again this week. I had the opportunity to visit one of the most unique and amazing attractions, Carhenge. Carhenge was built with 39 cars to replicate the Stonehenge in England. Each car is painted a bold deep gray. The significance of this location is it was built as a memorial to Jim Reinders father who once lived on the farm where Carhenge was constructed.
It sits among the vast wide open farm land and attracts visitors from around the world. I have seen it referenced to as the “9th Wonder of the World”. It was featured in Time Magazine as one of the Top 50 Roadside Attractions: http://content.time.com/…/0,28804,2006404_2006095_2006206,0…
I was so intrigued by learning why someone would build this type of structure/monument from cars. From the plaque at the site to give an exact account: “Jim Reinders spent seven years of his career as a petroleum engineer in England. Reinders returned home inspired by a grand idea. He would create a Stonehenge replica, a “Stonehenge West”, for his hometown of Alliance, Nebraska.
With no giant slabs of stone present in the area, Reinders decided on a new medium for his sculpture – cars. Cars would be readily available, would be similar in shape and size to the stones of Stonehenge, and the wheels would simplify logistics immensely. The original 25 cars were erected during a Reinders family reunion in 6 days and dedicated on the Summer Solstice, June 21, 1987.”
“We were able to reduce the time of the original Stonehenge construction by 9,999 years and 51 weeks.”…..”Plane, Loqui, Deprehendi”- Jim Reinders.
There is also a plaque with a map that gives more insight to what else is near the replica and the meaning behind some of the vehicles with some humor added in. A few of them include:
A WWII Time Capsule: Buried on June 19, 2004 by the AHS Classes of 1941-45, Jim Reinders, and Paul Phaneuf. Open June 2044.
Car-nestoga by David Kowalski, “My artistic vision on this piece (said very tongue-in-cheek) was a tribute to the pioneers crossing the plains along the Oregon Trail in wagons.”
The Fourd Seasons by Jim Reinders, comprised only of Fords and inspired by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, suggests the Nebraska landscape’s seasonal changes as wheat is planted, grows, matures and the field lies barren during a winter season.
Carmen by Ty Action of Scottsbluff, Specializing in “found art” the artist thinks of it as a female saying, “She is representative of the people who actually developed Stonehenge back in England.”
It is open daylight hours every day, all day and it is FREE! They have the PITSTOP Gift Shop that is open Summer hours and souvenirs can be found at the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center year round. There are several options for lodging in town including motels, bed & breakfasts & air bnb’s.