America has many replicas and models of famous landmarks from around the world, there is a full-scale model of Noah's ark in Kentucky, the Pathaneon in Tennessee, and the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas (part of the Paris Las Vegas casino). In Washington state, there is a replica of England's famous Stonehenge called Maryhill Stonehenge.

But this Stonehenge is not what one may think. The replica is meant as a reminder and memorial of the "incredible folly" of World War One.


Background and History of the Maryhill Stonehenge

Maryhill Stonehenge was commissioned in the early 20th century by Sam Hill - a wealthy entrepreneur. It was dedicated in 1918 as a memorial to those who perished in World War 1.

Maryhill Stonehenge is not made out of great megaliths, instead, it is constructed out of concrete. Hill originally wanted to use the local stone to build the structure. But the rock proved unsatisfactory and so reinforced concrete was used instead.

It took a long time to complete, construction started in 1918 and finished in 1929, in 2021 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Listed: On The National Register of Historic Places Since 2021
  • Built: From 1918 to 1929
  • First: Maryhill Stonehenge was The First War Memorial Dedicated to The Soldiers of World War One In the USA

The replica is built to the size and dimensions of the original Stonehenge, but much more complete as the real Stonehenge is in ruins. Here at the replica, one can get a better idea of what it would have looked like.

  • Purpose of The Orginal Stonehenge: Remains The Topic of Debate Perhaps As An Astronomical Observatory or as a Religious Site

Hill was guided by the leading archaeologists, astronomists, and engineers of his day to design and construct the memorial replicating the ancient Neolithic ruin of England.

The altar's alignment actually differs from Stonehenge by three degrees as it is aligned to the astronomical horizon rather than the actual midsummer sunrise.

  • Aligned: To the Astronomical Horizon Rather Than The Midsummer Sunrise

Related: The Skara Brae Prehistoric Village Is Home To Another One Of Britain's Neolithic Stonehenge Sites

Why Replicate Stonehenge for A WW1 Memorial

A hundred years ago people believed that Stonehenge was a sacrificial site, although today we know it wasn't. Sam Hill was a Quaker and commission the replica as a reminder that humanity could still be sacrificed to the god of war. It was meant to be a memorial to the people who are sacrificed in the name of war.

The Maryhill Stonehenge has a plaque that reads:

In memory of the soldiers and sailors of Klickitat County who gave their lives in defense of their country. This monument is erected in the hope that others inspired by the example of their valor and their heroism may share in that love of liberty and burn with that fire of patriotism which death can alone quench.

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Maryhill Stonehenge is not the only memorial here. Just north of the memorial is the Klickitat County Veteran's Memorial dedicated to those who have died in the wars since World War One.

Around Maryhill Stonehenge, one will find the names of those who lost their lives in the war commemorated on the stones. These include the names of locals of the area who died in both World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam war, and the war in Afghanistan.

Just down the bluff a short walk away is Sam Hill's grave.

Related: There's A Stonehenge In Armenia And Here's Why It Deserves More Attention (20 Fascinating Points)

Visiting Maryhill Stonehenge

Maryhill Stonehenge is located just off US Highway 97 on 14. It is around 223 miles from Seattle and around a 4-hour drive. Even though it's in Washington, it's closer to Portland which is only 100 miles away or 2.5 hours drive.

Today one can visit Maryhill Stonehenge as it is currently open to the public.

  • Admission: Admission Is Free (Donations are Accepted For Continued Maintenance)
  • Open: Daily From 7 am to Dusk

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Come at the right time and one will see a small memorial ceremony to mark the sacrifice of the 14 men who are honored at the Stonehenge Memorial. The public is invited to join the Maryhill Museum Art staff and friends in remembering the fallen. These ceremonies take place at 9.30 am on the following days.

Note: As At The Time Of Writing The Ceremonies are Postponed

  • February 5 (John W. Cheshier)
  • March 15 (Carl A. Lester)
  • April 13 (Dewey V. Bromley)
  • June 6 (Charles Auer)
  • June 16 (James D. Duncan)
  • July 25 (James H. Allyn)
  • July 30 (Harry Gotfredson and Henry Piendl)
  • September 15 (Edward Lindblad)
  • September 30 (Evan Childs)
  • October 14 (Louis Leidl)
  • January 4 (William O. Clary)

If one is interested in seeing which events are being held see their website Maryhill Museum or email or call 509 773-3733, ext. 25

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Next: Stonehenge Isn't The Only Mysterious Stone Circle In England, And Cumbria Is Home To The Most Impressive One Yet