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Robert Skoglund at the Center of the Universe.
Robert Skoglund at the Center of the Universe.

Center of the Universe

Field review by the editors.

St. George, Maine

Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote that every little town in New England thought that it was the Center of the Universe. Robert Karl Skoglund saw no reason why this should not also apply to his front yard, so in the 1970s -- he can't remember the exact year -- he erected a 16-foot-high granite monolith to mark the spot. "I thought it would fall down in a year," he told us.

The monument's tall, tapered design, Skoglund said, was inspired by others that he saw in a 3,000-year-old graveyard near where his father was born in Sweden. The bottom part is made from two house foundation stones from one of his mother's relatives; the top part is a piece of granite from the quarry where his immigrant father worked as a paving cutter.

What, we asked, is the symbolism of the rusty steel monkey blowing a five-foot-long chrome bugle at the monument's summit? Is it a reference to the angel Moroni atop Mormon temples? Is there some all-powerful puppet-master monkey at the Center of the Universe? Skoglund dismissed our conjectures. "It's there because it enables people to find my home," he said. "I tell them to go down the road until they see a monument, and if it does not have a monkey on top, they've stopped at the wrong house."

Center of the Universe

785 River Rd, St. George, ME
From US-1 on the north edge of Thomaston turn east at the stoplight onto MA-131/High St. Drive 5.5 miles. You'll see the monument on the left, on the front lawn of a yellow house.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Langlais Sculpture PreserveLanglais Sculpture Preserve, Cushing, ME - 2 mi.
St. George vs. DragonSt. George vs. Dragon, St. George, ME - 3 mi.
Prison Gift ShopPrison Gift Shop, Thomaston, ME - 4 mi.
In the region:
Moxie Bottle House, Union, ME - 15 mi.

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