Located near the town of Alliance is Carhenge (bottom photo), the automotive representation that mimics the size and orientation of England's Stonehenge (top photo). Carhenge was conceived by Jim Reinders and was built by six local families in 1987 as a memorial to his father, who once lived at the site. Some time after the monument was erected, the cars were painted grey to reflect the large grey stones at Stonehenge.
When Carhenge was created, many of the 10,000 residents of Alliance wanted it torn down, and state officials wanted to classify it as a "junkyard." However, Carhenge was saved by Friends of Carhenge, a local group that now maintains it. Today there seems to be a different attitude toward the site: Signs on the outskirts of town refer to Alliance as the "Home of Carhenge."
Reinders, an engineer, thought of building Carhenge after a visit to Stonehenge. The ruins of Stonehenge give the appearance of a rough circle. The major ring was probably built around 2000 B.C. by Stone Age Britons. Excavations suggest that it was a place of religious ceremony and burial. Some people believe that Stonehenge was used to predict solstice and equinox risings of the sun and moon.
Carhenge and Stonehenge have certain things in common: they both required engineering skill to construct; they are similar in size and orientiation; and both are visited by tourists.
A record 86,598 people went to Carhenge in 1986, making it one of Nebraska's most-visited locations.