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West Texas Stonehenge: Odessa Gives Us Something More to Think About

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On the edge of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin Campus (UTPB), sits Stonehenge. Not the original from England, of course, and not even the first one to be built in Texas (the first one constructed in the Lone Star State is situated near Kerrville, in the Texas Hill Country.) Rather, here stands the second replica, constructed in West Texas, amongst the prairie dogs and oil rigs, where it doesn’t appear to be out of place in the least.

West Texas Stonehenge: Odessa Gives Us Something More To Think About

Photo: Wikimedia

Not as mysterious as the original, and following suit with those that are similarly scattered through the U.S. (Washington, Montana, Missouri, and more), this second Texas Stonehenge was the product of three individuals. Chairman of UTPB’s Humanities and Fine Arts Dept., Chris Stanley, had long required his art students to construct models of Stonehenge. Friend and retired contractor, Dick Gillham, had been a longtime supporter of public art, and was always on the lookout for a project that would improve Odessa’s cultural landscape. One day, they were looking at a bunch of rocks that students had arranged to roughly resemble Stonehenge, when the thought crossed Chris’ mind that it would be nice to have a real one. The third individual to help make things happen was Stonehenge fan and limestone quarry owner, Connie Edwards. In 2002, the quarry had sold the stones to the folks in Montana that were building their own Stonehenge. He believed it to be a great idea and offered to donate the stones for the project. As a result, the three of them got approval from the University of Texas and planned to position the stones in the exact fashion as the original in England, on the UTPB’s campus.

West Texas Stonehenge: Odessa Gives Us Something More To Think About
Photo: Wikimedia

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