In Williamsburg, Virginia there is a small farm that harbors more than your typical cows and chickens. Deep within the farm territory, you will find 43 busts of former presidents. While the site is not open to visitors, someday it surely will be.
The 43 presidents came to be when there was once an idea for a presidential experience theme park in Virginia. The artist, David Adickes, created the busts and made them an amazing 20 feet high. That makes these busts as high as three Michael Jordan’s or four Danny Devito’s. The busts represent the first 43 presidents before the statues were built in 2004. They were built on-site within a dense wood that was set to be turned into an attractive experience.
However, the plans were never finalized. In the end, it was decided the proposed site would not work as it was too isolated from main roads and tourist areas. It was felt that the money required to invest in the area to turn it into an attraction would never be profited from. The plan was scrapped and the statues were left as ghosts in the forest. Later when the land was sold the statues were set to be destroyed.
Howard Hankins heard about the plans and stepped in. He said he couldn’t let the incredible statues be destroyed and said he would find a way to transport 43 of these 20-foot statues somewhere else. While it sounds like Howard was getting a good deal by getting these statues for nothing, the expense involved in transporting so many massive statues must have been huge. Yet he did it.
Hankins returned with a full team, excavators, and flatbed trucks. He drilled a hole in the top of each president’s head and used a hook to get the statues onto each truck. From there a huge convey took place (which must have been an incredible site) as some 43 trucks wheeled their way to Hankins’ farm.
While Hankins rescued the statues they are not yet available to the public eye. Hankins says that someday they will be available to view but for right now there are no visitors welcome to his site.
Trespassing has become a huge issue on his farm as people are desperate to see the statues and grab a picture. We would advise against that as you will likely face prosecution and if you do manage to grab a great post for Instagram it will likely be the evidence they need to prove you were there.
If you really want to see some massive heads of presidents, why settle for 20 feet. If you are that keen you should aim for 60-foot heads. If you are able to make the journey to Mount Rushmore that is what you will get. On Mount Rushmore, there are the four famous carvings of Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Roosevelt. The four presidents were chosen as they represent the United States’ birth, growth, development, and preservation.
Originally Mount Rushmore was meant to depict the four presidents all the way to their waste but the project ran out of funding and the heads had to suffice. It appears that failed projects with the heads of presidents are common. It doesn’t seem to matter though, as the mount attracts two million visitors every year.
If Hankins can find a way to display the 43 presidents heads that he has in a clever way we have no doubt that he too can attract millions of visitors every year. It is likely that his early investment will pay off someday soon. Watch out for the former presidents if you are ever passing through Virginia.