Maryhill Stonehenge duplicates England's original

A few months ago, I confessed in this blog that despite being PEMCO's "Native Northwest Guy," I had identified six popular tourist attractions in Washington I've never visited. There likely are more.
     Last Thursday, I knocked one of them off my must-see list: the Stonehenge replica at Maryhill, overlooking the Columbia River south of Goldendale.
     Maryhill lies 82 miles south of Yakima, about a 90-minute drive. It might have taken less time for me from Seattle had I not contended with thick I-90 traffic bound for the Paradiso Festival at The Gorge and Spokane's Hoopfest tournament.
     Maryhill Stonehenge duplicates the size and shape of England's ancient Stonehenge, except it's cast in concrete while the original was hewn out of rock. Klickitat County patron Sam Hill built the duplicate Stonehenge in 1929.
     Hill also founded the Maryhill townsite and Maryhill Museum of Art, located 3 miles west of his Stonehenge replica that stands as a memorial to Klickitat County soldiers who died in World War I. Hill's own tomb lies just a few steps south of the monument.
     Common belief is that England's Stonehenge was built to measure time and mark the seasons by tracking positions of the sun and moon.
     Once I arrived I realized that, although I had not set foot before at Maryhill Stonehenge, I twice had zoomed past it in the dark while driving on nearby U.S. Highway 97. Stonehenge is literally within sight of the Biggs Rapids Bridge, and also from I-84 across the river in Oregon.
     The sun-splashed hilltops nearby are dotted with wind turbines that crank out energy for California – not Northwest – customers, according to owner Cannon Power Group.
     If you're looking for other attractions to justify a long trip to Maryhill, nearby Goldendale Observatory State Park features one of the nation's largest public telescopes. It's open weekends year-round and Wednesdays through Sundays from April 1 – September 30.
     Just west of Stonehenge, Maryhill Museum features paintings, sculptures, Native American art, and the first asphalt road in Washington, which until this year had been home to the annual Festival of Speed for skateboarders from around the world.
     You also can enjoy concerts at the Maryhill Winery Amphitheater. Headlining this August and September are Jeff Beck & Buddy Guy, Chris Isaak, and Tears For Fears.

by  Jon Osterberg

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