Lady in the Lake.

Lady in the Bay

Field review by the editors.

Elberta, Alabama

In January 2012, fiberglass sculpture wizard Mark Cline received a phone call from an employee of George Barber, a billionaire art patron. "Mr. Barber," said the voice, "is interested in you building a fifty-foot woman."

Lady in the Lake.

"Does he want her standing in a field?" asked Mark. "No," the employee answered. "He wants her floating."

Mark was stumped by the engineering necessary to float a fifty-foot woman -- until some students from Virginia Military Academy showed up at his Enchanted Castle Studios, seeking advice on how to build a concrete canoe. They pointed out that giant styrofoam blocks, the same kind that Mark used to build Foamhenge, could easily float a fifty-foot fiberglass woman if hidden inside her head and knees.

Mark admits he was nervous as the woman was lowered into a pond at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum on March 27, 2012. "Like Evel Knievel, you only get one shot," he said. But the woman floated perfectly. Mark christened her "Country Girl Skinny Dipping" (her face is a combination of country singer Sara Evans and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones) but everyone else called her Lady in the Lake, and the name stuck.

"She was received with mixed opinions," said Mark, who said that some of George Barber's associates felt that the artwork was "mini-golf-ish." But George Barber liked the Lady so much that he paid to have her trucked south in November 2012, floated in his Barber Marina on the Alabama gulf coast, and renamed her Lady in the Bay. She was badly smashed by Hurricane Sally in September 2020, but Mark was able to salvage the pieces and put her back together ("Like Humpty Dumpty," he said). She's scheduled to be re-floated in Spring 2022.

"At the Museum you had to go through a special gate to see her," said Mark. "At the Marina she can be seen by tourists from anywhere. Maybe that's what Mr. Barber wanted to do."

Mark noted, with his usual pride in detail and excess, that the fifty-foot Lady would actually be 108 feet tall if she stood up -- taller than the Statue of Liberty minus her upraised arm.

Lady in the Bay

Barber Marina

26986 Fish Trap Rd, Elberta, AL
Drive US-98 either eight miles east of Foley, Alabama, or 21 miles west of downtown Pensacola, Florida. Turn south onto County Rd 95. Drive five miles. Turn right onto Fish Trap Rd. Drive a half-mile. Turn left at the Barber Marina sign. Drive 2.5 miles to the Barber Marina. Drive halfway around the traffic circle, then park in the lot as close to the water as you can. You'll see the Lady floating out toward the end of the dock; you can walk out to her.
Call ahead to confirm that the Lady is in the water (sometimes she's not). (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Knights in the WoodsKnights in the Woods, Elberta, AL - < 1 mi.
Dinosaurs in the WoodsDinosaurs in the Woods, Elberta, AL - 1 mi.
BamahengeBamahenge, Elberta, AL - 1 mi.
In the region:
Roman Columns, Elberta, AL - 1 mi.

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