I lived in Goldendale, Washington when I was five years old. Sam Hill’s Stonehenge, built as a memorial to the county’s soldiers who died in World War I, is one of my strongest memories of that year, though I didn’t realize it was a war memorial until I revisited it as an adult. No, there was something primal, something magical about it, that fascinated me even as a child.

Maryhill Stonehenge

It might not be too far from wrong to say that this mysterious monument somehow
frames my memory of this area.

Looking at Columbia from Stonehenge

I can’t remember ever returning to Goldendale without also returning here and walking the grounds.

Of course, I’m also drawn to places with names like Horse Thief Butte which jutts out into the Columbia like some ancient fortress,

Horse Thief Butte

in startling contrast to the forested ridge line that stands guard above it.

Columbia Ridge Line

I still imagine the sheriff and his posse waiting on the ridge for the right moment to sweep down and capture the bad guys.

Of course, my memories of this place are also colored by tales of my grandfather breaking wild broncs here as a young man and by the time we visited the Klickitat rodeo, a real thrill for a young boy who’d lived his whole life in Seattle and never seen a horse, much less an Indian chief, except in a Saturday matinee.

6 thoughts on “Goldendale”

  1. Went to Goldendale in 1979 to watch a more or less total eclipse of the sun. Didn’t do Stonehenge, but do recall standing along the edge of a gorge watching the edge of the shadow approach, linger and vanish.

  2. That entire area is filled with wonder for me. It’s among my favorite places in the Northwest. Maryhill Museum in Goldendale is a simply stunning little treasure with Leighton’s sublime “Solitude” as well as other fine collections, and at Horsethief Lake State Park there is a powerful petroglyph, “Tsgaglalal/She-Who-Watches.” The replica of Stonehenge was magical for both me and my children. It was nice to revisit through your post here – thank you!

  3. MY husband was born in 1932 and reared, until the age of 10, around the Goldendale area. We are going “home” tomorrow for a family reunion. Your beautiful photos bring back some wonderful memories of places we have seen and some we want to revisit. Thank you so much.

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