Published in the La Venia News on July 24, 2014

Quirky, Weird and Wonderful - Carhenge


    For almost two years now, Everyday Journeys has taken you to places within a day’s drive from LaVernia including historical sites, forests and state parks, museums, and fun places to visit. This is about a place just a little bit farther away. We recently traveled to Western Nebraska and found some unique places that we want to share with you.

Everyday Journeys

    Harry and Linda kaye Perez

    Everyone has heard of Stonehenge - that mystical, and some say magical, place near Salisbury, England. It is one of the most recognizable sites in the world. Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones thought to be a temple made for the worship of ancient deities, or an astronomical observatory for marking significant events on the prehistoric calendar, or perhaps a sacred burial site. No one knows for sure. But, have you ever heard of Carhenge?

     Located just four miles north of Alliance, Nebraska, Carhenge was formed from 38 vintage American automobiles, painted gray to replicate Stonehenge. It was the brainchild of Jim Reinders. When Jim’s father passed away in 1982, he wanted to do something special in memory of him. As a geologist, he had studied the structure, design, and purpose of Stonehenge while living in the south of England years ago. He got the family together and concocted this memorial as a tribute to his father. It took five years from conception to completion and during the 1987 summer solstice, Carhenge was dedicated and opened to the public.


 Ten years later, Reinders donated Carhenge and the 10 acres around it to the Friends of Carhenge, a nonprofit group that had been formed to continue the operation of this unique tourist attraction. On October 1, 2013, Friends of Carhenge gifted the site to the citizens of Alliance. No admission has ever been charged and visitors are encouraged to walk up and touch it (unlike Stonehenge, where only a chosen few can get up close and personal).

   An estimated 80,000 tourists visit this attraction each year, many on their way to South Dakota’s Black Hills and Mount Rushmore, but many come from as far away as Canada, England, Germany, France, and Italy, as evidenced by the Log Book that visitors are encouraged to sign. In the June 2014 edition of USA Today, Carhenge was named as one of the Top Three Quirky Landmarks in America.

    Over the years, additional sculptures have been erected at this site, which is now officially known as the Car Art Reserve. One of the first art additions was a sculpture of a spawning salmon created by 29 year-old Canadian Geoff Sandhurst, who won a $2,500 prize and the permanent placement of his creation at the Reserve.

   For those of you who might be a connoisseur of lunar and solar events, mark your calendar. On August 21, 2017, Carhenge will be in the direct path of the total solar eclipse at 10:49 am (mountain time).

Trail Boss-Boot Hill

    The next stop on our adventure was the “Cowboy Capital” of Nebraska - Ogallala. Many Texans will remember this name; it was the end of the trail for many cattle drives from this area. It is estimated that over a million cattle came up the Texas Trail between 1870 and 1885. Sitting atop Boot Hill, right in the heart of Ogallala, is a magnificent bronze statute entitled “The Trail Boss.” The cowboy, sitting on his horse, appears to be looking back toward Texas.

Carhenge-in the Sunshine

     Fine out More

Ogallala-Keith County Chamber of Commerce

 Nebraska Tourism Commission




   © Harry Perez 2012