Bedford pyramid.
Above, artist concept post card; below, the sad reality.

Cursed Pyramid Ruins

Field review by the editors.

Needmore, Indiana

In the late 1970s the town of Bedford -- "The Limestone Capital of the World" -- tried to build a 95-foot-tall (one-fifth scale) limestone replica of the Great Pyramid of Giza, and a 650-foot-long (some say 800-foot-long) limestone version of the Great Wall of China. The idea was to open them as a combined tourist attraction named "Limestone Tourist Park."

The town received $200,000 (or $700,000 -- no one seems clear on the facts any more) in federal money to begin the project, and work began. But Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire, who at the time was promoting his "Golden Fleece Awards," got wind of the boondoggle in 1981 and blew the whistle. The grants dried up. The project collapsed. Senator Proxmire considered it the second greatest Fleece that he had ever uncovered. (#4 was a $1 million grant to preserve a Trenton, New Jersey sewer as a historical monument.)

People in the area still know about the abandoned pyramid. Some can even direct you to it, although it's a little confusing as it's not in Bedford, but a couple of towns north in Needmore, on the north edge of a vast limestone quarry. A yellow metal gate blocks what used to be the road to it, stretched between limestone columns topped by small limestone step-pyramids, both of which have been truncated by past vandalism. To the right, a horizontal limestone slab once held some sort of sign, now long gone. Huge hunks of limestone lie scattered among rusting trucks.

About a quarter mile down the abandoned road, the remains of the pyramid are disappearing under trees and sticker bushes like an ancient burial mound. Behind this, dozens of limestone blocks lie in rows, possibly the raw material for the never-begun Great Wall. The huge limestone pit stretches just beyond.

Cursed Pyramid Ruins

Address:
Old Hwy 37, Needmore, IN
Directions:
Nine miles north of Bedford -- or about 14-15 miles south of Bloomington -- on Hwy 37. At a very lonely stoplight, far from any others, turn southeast onto "Old Highway 37." The street sign is very tiny; look instead for the Crest Motel, Citgo station, Evans Grocery. Old Hwy 37 dead-ends four miles later at the abandoned park.
Hours:
Private property - obey posted signs.
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August 23, 2014

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