Saturday, September 18, 2010
Albert Livingstone immigrated to the Confederacy twenty five years ago from England. After working at various jobs for several years he managed to scrape together enough money to purchase the old Millwood farm outside of Cloverdale.
With farm in hand Albert moved onto his next goal - marriage. Twenty years ago Albert married Norma Sipps of Dibley in the Downs. They enjoy each other’s company and are content to spend their evenings on the farmhouse porch watching the sun paint their fields in brilliant color.
Ten years ago Albert returned to England to visit his remaining family. While there, he visited Stonehenge and marvelled at the ruins - a monument to a long gone ancient way of life.
One evening, shortly after his return, Albert and Norma sat in the cool of the evening talking about his trip and the sights he’d seen. Albert described Stonehenge. He explained how the great stones were arranged to reflect the changing seasons. Norma listened as she rocked back and forth.
“Nothing like that in this Shire,” she said. “We’re the ancient monuments around here.”
The couple laughed together. Albert looked out over his fields. It was time to bail the hay. Autumn was upon them.
“The Wilburs are getting their corn maze staked out,” Albert pointed down the road to Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur and their two children still living at home. “They do pretty well with that corn maze. They make enough in the Fall to pay for one of their kid’s tuition's at school.”
That’s when the thought struck him. Why not create something else for the locals to visit after they’ve navigated the Wilbur’s corn maze?
Today, the Livingstone HayHenge has become a local tradition for folks from miles around. Hundreds visit the monument of hay until its toppled after the Winter Solstice.
The Shire’s Druid community are especially grateful for the work Albert and Norma put into making the monument astronomically correct. Every December 21st the Druids host the Solstice Social. At sun set they gather at the HayHenge to pray to their gods for the return of the sun. Bonfires light up the night sky. There is dancing, singing and good food.
Be sure to take time to visit Cloverdale’s two Autumn attractions, the Wilbur’s Corn maze and the Livingstone’s HayHenge. Both activities make for a wonderful family outing.
Remember, the local Druids have one of their own stationed at HayHenge most afternoons to explain the monument and how similar it is to the real Stonehenge in England. The talk is usually interesting, and sometimes entertaining.