Carhenge of the Prairie

Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska might be the poor man’s version of the prehistoric and more famous structure in England called Stonehenge. For sure, it’s the American version of a mystical alignment of cars that may chart the sun and moon phases.

More likely, it’s just an artful pile of classic automobiles that is sure to bring a smile to your face when you see it.

I think it was my sister who visited Carhenge about 20 years ago and shared her photos of this strange place with me. Since that day, I have wanted to visit it.

The problem has always been where it’s located. Alliance, Nebraska is in the northwest part of the state and has not been an area I travel through often.

Until last week.

Gail and I scheduled a 12-day trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Alliance, Nebraska is located between our hometown and Yellowstone. On the way home, we plotted our route back to include a stop at Carhenge.

Destiny had finally provided me an opportunity to see a bunch of cars stacked on top of one another!

What is Carhenge?

The structure consists of 38 automobiles that are buried and stacked in a circle that is 96 feet in diameter. The cars are placed in the same proportions as the stones in Stonehenge.

Jim Reinders, an engineer, built Carhenge as a memorial to his father who grew up on the land where artwork stands.  Interestingly, it only took six days to complete the project during a 1987 family reunion.

Within the complex, Jim and his supporters have also added other sculptures made of car parts which are fun to look at too.

The Four Season of Wheat Sculpture

The day we visited, we spoke to a local resident who told us a funny story about Carhenge.

When it was built in 1987, the city of Alliance and some of its residents did not like the structure. There was a strong movement to have it dismantled.

Fast forward to today…

The city now owns Carhenge and enjoys the tourists and revenue the site brings to the town.

Imagine that!

Your feedback is welcome!