You could pay a pretty penny to fly across the pond to see the prehistoric, monolithic marvel of England’s Stonehenge. Or you can just hop in the car and head to the Hill Country Arts Foundation in Ingram, Texas. That’s where you’ll see the next best thing: a whimsical labor of love known simply as Stonehenge II.
It’s roughly 60% as tall and 90% as wide as its ancient counterpart, and 100% as eye-opening and oddly entrancing. But unlike the Stonehenge of old, there are no great myths, Arthurian legends, or druidic rituals surrounding Stonehenge II. Nor is there any unsolved mystery of how it came to be. Like most adventures in life, it all started with two men and a patio.
Back in 1989 in the Hill Country town of Hunt, Texas cowboy Doug Hill had just laid concrete for his new patio. He had a leftover slab of limestone to spare, so he gave it to his close friend and neighbor, Al Shepperd. Naturally, Al propped that slab upright like a monolith and a light bulb went on in his head. Nine months later, Doug and Al had recreated one of England’s weirdest wonders in Al’s pasture. A feat of plaster, steel frames, graphite-covered metal mesh, and dogged determination.
18 months later, they gussied it up by adding two 13-foot-tall Easter Island replicas to flank their Stonehenge. Because why not?
Sadly, Al Shepperd passed in 1994. When his land went up for sale in 2010, the new owners supposedly wanted to knock Stonehenge II down. But thankfully, the Hill Country Arts Foundation of nearby Ingram came to the rescue. They rallied funds and carted the whole kit and caboodle—all 75 pieces plus those Easter Island heads—eight miles east to its new home in Ingram.
Now the mighty monoliths continue to work their magic on the campus of the Hill Country Arts Foundation, beside the Guadalupe River, where it attracts awe from thousands of tourists and locals and alike.
And those Easter Island heads are quite the charmers.
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You can find Stonehenge II right off Junction Highway at 120 Point Theater Rd. South. And if you happen to be there on April 8, 2024, you’re in for a treat. It’s smack dab in the path of a total solar eclipse, which should make for interstellar viewing. It’s free and open from sunrise to sunset, and you can even rent it for your next wedding, family gathering or meeting of the Druids.