Texas Traveler: Stonehenge II on the Move

Stonehenge II, the worse-for-the-wear roadside attraction Texas Traveler visited early last year, is getting a new home and a new coat of paint, thanks to a local arts organization.

The replica, two-thirds the size of the prehistoric original, was built in a corn field skirting the Guadalupe River just outside the small town of Hunt by neighbors Al Shepperd and Doug Hill. Hill, a contractor, had finished building a patio on his property when he was left with a single, large slab of limestone he offered to Shepperd. Shepperd, oddly, decided to stand the slab upright in the middle of his land. It reminded him of Stonehenge, so he soon set about, with Hill's help, to create other pieces made out of plaster to complete the monument.

Before long, and despite the fact that the attraction is on a small farm road, Shepperd's project began attracting visitors. After a visit to Easter Island, Shepperd added a few large plaster moai statues to his land. He also planned to add an Alaskan totem pole, but died in 1994. His nephew inherited his land.

When we visited, obvious breaks were visible in the plaster, but the attraction was still drawing visitors. A box at the entrance to the property explained the story of Stonehenge II and solicited donations, but because the landowners don't charge an entrance fee, funds for preservation are limited.

Now, the Associated Press reports, Stonehenge II is moving. All because the current landowners also want to move.

His heirs want to sell the nearly 22-acre riverfront property, but worried what potential buyers would think of the landmark. "We just feel like no one would want to buy it if they had to take the Stonehenge," said Al Shepperd II, a San Antonio lawyer whose family inherited the land from their eccentric uncle.

In lieu of tearing the monument down, the The Hill Country Arts Foundation has taken custody of the plaster slabs, and is currently working to raise money to move them to the organization's campus a few miles away, in Ingram. The moai heads were relocated a few weeks ago, but the foundation is still trying to raise $50,000 to move the bulk of the sculpture and pay for its refurbishment.

"It won't be the same," Hill, who still lives nearby, told the Associated Press. "It changed everything. It brought traffic. We had a couple of wrecks with people stopping in the middle of the road."

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