On August 10 we drove up to the Peach Beach Campground on the north bank of the Columbia River, near the community of Maryhill, population 98.
Liz Kinney visited us there, as did Hilbruner’s daughter Anna & her husband Craig & their little one Axel.
After Liz and the younger Hilbruners returned to their respective homes, the elder Hilbruners went off to visit friends, and Barb, Colleen, Bill and I went to see the Maryhill Museum of Art and the Maryhill Stonehenge.
Culled from a variety of articles in Wikipedia:
Maryhill is named after the wife and daughter of regional icon Samuel Hill (13 May 1857 – 26 February 1931), who purchased land and envisioned a community there shortly after the turn of the 20th century.
Sam Hill was a businessman, lawyer, railroad executive, and advocate of good roads. He used his Maryhill property to build the first paved roads in the Pacific Northwest, the Maryhill Museum of Art (originally intended as a grand residence for the Hills), Maryhill Stonehenge, a monument to the World War I dead of Klickitat County in the form of a Stonehenge replica, and a planned community. Hill intended the Stonehenge replica to express that modern warfare (like Druid sacrifices as he understood them) was a form of needless human sacrifice.
He substantially influenced the Pacific Northwest region’s economic development in the early 20th century. He devoted much attention to advocating construction of modern roads in Washington and Oregon. In September 1899 Hill created the Washington State Good Roads Association which persuaded the Washington State Legislature to create the Washington State Department of Transportation in 1905. Hill’s land around Maryhill proved useful for his advocacy. From 1909–1913 he laid 10 miles of asphalt-paved Macadam road at his own expense (US$100,000). It was the first such road in the Pacific Northwest and Hill experimented over its length with seven different paving techniques.
In 1907, Hill persuaded the University of Washington to establish the United States’ first chair in highway engineering. He could not persuade the State of Washington to build a highway on the north bank of the Columbia River, but in 1913 Oregon governor Oswald West and the Oregon Legislative Assembly visited Maryhill to inspect his experimental prototype road. Subsequently, the State of Oregon built the scenic Columbia River Highway, which linked coastal Astoria, Oregon and The Dalles, Oregon.
Although his promotion of paved modern roads is possibly his greatest legacy, he is now best remembered for building the Stonehenge replica.
Maryhill Museum of Art is a small museum with an extremely eclectic collection. Construction was halted upon America’s entry into World War I. The unfinished museum building was dedicated on November 3, 1926 by Queen Marie of Romania, and was opened to the public on Hill’s birthday (May 13) in 1940. Notable in the Maryhill Museum collection are:
• Plaster and bronze sculptures and watercolors by Auguste Rodin
• European and American paintings
• American Indian art, including baskets and beadwork from the Columbia Plateau region
• Mannequins and replica stage sets from the Théâtre de la Mode
• More than 300 chess sets from around the world,
• Eastern Orthodox icons
• Palace furnishings and personal items that once belonged to Queen Marie
• Memorabilia associated with the dancer Loïe Fuller
• Art Nouveau-era glass
• A permanent exhibit about Samuel Hill’s life and projects
• An outdoor sculpture park containing more than a dozen works by Pacific Northwest artists,
We later met the Hilbruners and their friends at the Maryhill Winery, where we had wine and snacks and then played some bocci on their complementary professional bocci courts. Quite an upgrade from the semi-improvised games we’ve played in the Caribbean.