INGRAM, Texas (NEXSTAR) — It’s the sequel you didn’t know Texas created. The Lone Star State’s Hill Country may be a long way away from the mysterious Stonehenge monument in England, central Texas’ Stonehenge II site isn’t without mysteries of its own.
The main mystery: What the heck is Stonehenge II and where did it come from? And what does Easter Island have to do with any of it?
The attraction, located in Ingram, is owned and maintained by the Hill Country Arts Foundation, which explains that the site was created by retired Dallas hotel owner Al Shepperd and his neighbor Doug Hill over 20 years ago.
The idea came to Shepperd after he found a mass of limestone leftover from a patio project near the Guadalup River, Dallas Morning News reported in 2010. It took Shepperd and Hill nine months to build, the foundation says.
Stonehenge II was moved from Shepperd’s property in Hunt — about 7 miles from Ingram — in 2010, many years after Shepperd’s death. The stones, which were created at about 90% the height and 60% the width of the original Stonehenge stones, were moved stone-by-stone to where they now sit.
But wait! If you happen to visit Stonehenge II, which is free to do, you may notice something (else) that seems out of place, historically. The site is also home to two 13-foot moai, which you probably recognize as the giant head statues famous for their placement on Easter Island.
The HCAF says Shepperd added the two moai to “give free range to his fanciful notion.”
Stonehenge II’s moai, which are made of Rebar and plaster, are about the same size as the ones you’d find on Easter Island — or at least as large as they are from top to the ground. The island’s monolithic statues are actually full body figures with most of the bodies buried up to their chests or necks.
“Stonehenge: The Sequel” has so far flown a bit under the radar on TikTok and Reddit, two social media platforms with a knack for honing in on attraction oddities (like the Bass Pro Shops Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee). A few Stonehenge II TikTok tours can be found, however.
Over on the Texas subreddit, a few posts have popped up over the years, with some Texans expressing surprise at this hidden gem.
“My mom lives less than 10 minutes from this place and I never knew!” writes one Redditor. “I’ll be visiting next week!”
According to the HCAF, Stonehenge II has been visited by thousands since its creation. The site can even be rented for private events like weddings and parties.
Stonehenge II will also be the venue for a solar eclipse festival to be held April 8, 2024, during the total solar eclipse, which will pass right over the area. HCAF says details on the event are to come. Additionally, the site will hosts its second annual Stonehenge Celtic Festival and Highland Games on April 27.
It’s been decades since Shepperd and Hill brought a taste of Druid magic to central Texas but their art lives on. Back in 2010, Hill marveled at the site’s”s long life, saying it is “not something he ever could have imagined.”