Travel Spotlight: Maryhill Stonehenge

Maryhill Stonehenge
Maryhill Stonehenge
written by Lindsay McWilliams | photography by Bill Devlin

Overlooking the Columbia River in Maryhill is a monument that looks eerily familiar, but seems to be in the wrong place. Pillars of concrete stand in a circular form, reminiscent of the prehistoric icon in Wiltshire, England.

Sam Hill, pioneer for industry in the West and founder of Maryhill, was a pacifist. Mistakenly believing the original Stonehenge was a site of human sacrifice, Hill planned to build a replica of the monument as a World War I memorial, comparing the war to modern-day human sacrifice.

When the structure was erected in 1918, a plaque was placed on the altar stone that read, “To the memory of the soldiers and sailors of Klickitat County who gave their lives in defense of their country. This monument is erected in 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 alone can quench.” Hill completed his opus in 1929 and, when he died in 1931, his body was buried nearby.

Today, the memorial is maintained by the Maryhill Museum of Art, a sprawling Beaux Art design that was originally built as Hill’s private residence. Whether you’re headed to the museum, Maryhill Winery or the Goldendale Observatory, make a stop at Maryhill Stonehenge and visit for free from 7 a.m. to dusk.

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