Podcast | Why in the Sam Hill is there a Stonehenge in Washington?

The millionaire built a 'castle' on the Columbia River and later a replica of the English monument.

A monument overlooks a river

The Stonehenge War Memorial overlooking the Columbia River. (Maryhill Museum of Art)

The Stonehenge that sits atop Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, has long inspired speculation of its purpose and imitators to its form. One of those imitators overlooks the Columbia River in Washington state where it inspires questions: Who built the replica and why?

The answer to the first part of that question is Samuel Hill, a wealthy railroad man who marveled at the landscape the abutted the river and who enjoyed building things out of concrete, including the replica and roads.

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In a recent episode of the Mossback’s Northwest video series, Knute Berger tells the story of Sam Hill and his concrete curiosity overlooking the Columbia.

But there is more to the story. For this episode of the Mossback podcast, Berger and co-host Stephen Hegg explore the origins of the monument and attempt to answer the second part of the question: Why?

Before listening, we suggest you watch the Mossback's Northwest episode about Samuel Hill and his Stonehenge here.

About the Hosts

Knute Berger

Knute Berger

Knute “Mossback” Berger is Crosscut's Editor-at-Large.

Stephen Hegg

Stephen Hegg

Stephen is formerly a senior video producer at Crosscut and KCTS 9. He specialized in arts and culture.