Located near the town of Alliance is the remarkable Carhenge (bottom photo), the automotive representation that cleverly mimics the impressive size and orientation of Englandís 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 -- a striking reflection of the massive 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." Luckily, Carhenge was saved by Friends of Carhenge, a local group that now works hard to maintain it. Clearly, today there is a new, positive attitude toward the site: Signs on the outskirts of town proclaim Alliance as the "Home of Carhenge."
Reinders, an engineer, was inspired to build 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 show that it was a place of burial and religious ceremony. Some people believe that Stonehenge was used to predict solstice and equinox risings of the sun and moon.
There are many parallels between Carhenge and Stonehenge: they both required engineering expertise to construct; they are similar in size and orientiation; and both are extemely popular with tourists!
A record 86,598 visitors from all over the world enjoyed Carhenge in 1986, making it one of Nebraska's most popular attractions.