Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Other Georgia Stonehenge: I Went There So You Never Have To

Few things disappoint like an interesting theme poorly explored. Take the idea of naming a neighborhood Stonehenge ( Google Maps), in Athens, GA. Even at the height of the 70's this could not have sounded like a wise choice for community development: druids, strange street names like Salsbury Plain Dr., Sersen Cir., and Heelstone Ave., the hope/fear of human sacrifices. So, the likelihood of an interesting spectacle is always something to be hoped for, and the reason for a trip. At the best it could be a fantastic recreation in stone, honoring the spirit of the original and infused with something additional from the new place it was built. If nothing else, it might look funny, like the scene in "Spinaltap." ( tiny audio file)

All I knew was there was a recreation of the Druid's monument there, courtesy of someone on Virtual Globetrotting. Armed with a map, we headed out. Little did I know when my wife and I ventured out to Athens, Georgia in search of this local stonehenge that we would be seeing the least-interesting Stonehenge ever. We've seen stonehenges made out of cars, and one in North Georgia dedicated to population control and insulting politicians. There are loads of amazing stonhenges that populate the US. This was not one of them.

If I sound disappointed, it's because so many of the other roadside attractions I've visited have been interesting in at least one way. So many of them have been kitschy, well-made, historically interesting, etc. The Stonehenge of Athens was a complete letdown, however. Barely henge-like. And the neighborhood that was behind the shrine, boring. Just regular house, some with cars being worked on in front and no sacrificial alters.

But a trip into Athens proper, and the sweet shoes and wallet found on sale at Junkman's Daughter helped ease the "pain". There are many times that I hope people go where I got a chance to visit. This isn't one of those times.


hunter said...

As a former Athenian, I always thought that mini-Stonehenge was just a speed barrier for the drunks living in the neighborhood. Plus, you've got to love the authentic English landscaping in front of it.

Robert said...

I love the idea of a car piled up in that monument with the driver waking up on top of the "Stonehenge" stone wondering WTF.

Chris said...

I drove past it many times and never realized it was anything more that decoration for a subdivision entrance... because that's all it was.