Mark Cline says that the idea for Bamahenge came from George Barber, an Alabama billionaire. Barber had some Mark Cline dinosaurs on one of his properties, and while Mark was repairing hurricane damage to the creatures in 2006, Barber "took me aside," Mark recalled, "and whispered in my ear, 'Stonehenge'."
Barber wanted the Stonehenge at his Vintage Motorsports Museum outside of Birmingham. But by the time Mark had the time and money to build the Stonehenge in late 2012, Barber had been talked out of his original plan. He instead told Mark to build the Stonehenge at his new marina on the Alabama gulf coast.
"Mr. Barber kept calling it Foamhenge, but there's only one of those," said Mark. Since it was built of fiberglass, Mark thought of naming it Fiberhenge, but that "just didn't have the ring." So Mark christened it Bamahenge.
Bamahenge stands in the piney woods about 200 yards off the marina entrance road. Visitors simply pull their vehicles onto the grass and walk back to its clearing. Everyone we saw during our visit rapped their knuckles - tunk tunk - against the slabs, and seemed surprised that they weren't made of rock. Two home-schooler parents were delighted; their kids were confused, and had our sympathy. With no explanatory signs, Bamahenge is an enigma. How did it get here? Who built it? Why? (People ask those questions about Stonehenge in England, too).
Mark designed Bamahenge to be 21 feet tall and 104 feet across, essentially identical in size to the original. It's correctly aligned with the summer solstice; the point of sunrise is over the center of three lintels on the outer markers. There are actually only four different stone shapes, but with clever flipping and repositioning, all of them look different.
Remembering his difficulty with the dinosaurs, Mark engineered Bamahenge to be storm-proof, anchoring the megaliths with interior concrete and half-buried telephone poles. "If a huge hurricane blew through," said Mark, "it might rip the blocks in half and leave part of them still standing. But I know a knowledgeable fiberglass man who would go down there and fix them, just as he did the dinosaurs in 2006."