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Here's the bizarre story of 42 deteriorating ‘President Heads’ located at a recycling center.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? That was the case for construction owner Howard Hankins, when he was tasked in 2010 to destroy a collection of giant President Heads that weigh up to 20,000 lbs each, standing at 20 ft tall.

But where TF did these heads come from and why didn’t anyone want them?

Presidents Park was originally built in 2004 for $10 million in Williamsburg, Virginia where guests could walk on a path and visit each bust by sculptor David Adickes. Each accompanied by a basically was an outdoor museum vs. what now seems like an ‘Instagram playground’. The park sadly went out of business by 2010 and most of this was chalked up to the fact of a poor location that was hard to get to.

When Howard was hired to destroy the heads, he instead paid $50,000 to transport them 10 miles to his recycling center property where he also stores his construction equipment. The saddest part? To move each bust, a crane smashed a giant hole in the back of each head to lift them onto flatbed trucks, damaging each work of art.

Maybe the deterioration or the location of a random field adds to the allure, because it truly is a WTF creepy-cool vibe as I ventured around with 42 of the most prominent figures in American History. And no, Obama’s wasn’t sculpted.

How to see them and what to expect?

It’s not free to visit and to make things even more complicated, there isn’t even an official website to see them. Tickets are linked from some guy’s photography website here. Depending on morning or afternoon, a 2-hour session ranges from $23-25 per adult and $9 for children (including tax). Children 7 and under are free.

Plan ahead because it’s not offered every weekend and does sell out. The walking path between the heads is drowned in mud, which is a shame because the field is surrounded by mounds of mulch. The guides will tell you that they use the ticket sales to invest into restoration of the heads, but there is absolutely no indication that they do that.

While we’re talking about Williamsburg, Virginia, I included some of my favorite places while visiting. You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy this hidden gem of a weekend adventure from local breweries, ghost tours and big small town vibes…

Feel at home

  • Fife & Drum Inn — only 9 rooms, with lovely conversations at breakfast with the owner Billy

Good eatin’

  • Aromas Coffeehouse Bakeshop

  • The Cheese Shop

  • The Hound's Tale (and Barkery)

  • DoG Street Pub

  • Blue Talon Bistro

  • Amber Ox Public House

  • La Piazza

  • Fat Canary

  • A Chef’s Kitchen

Breweries are *so in* right now

  • Billsburg Brewery — Right next to Jamestown Settlement and has The Hungry Pug Food Truck for tacos

  • Alewerks Brewing Company

  • Virginia Beer Company

Cool stuff!

  • President Heads

  • Colonial Ghost Walking Tour

  • Jamestown Settlement

  • Merchants Square

  • Colonial Williamsburg

  • College of William and Mary

  • Taste of Williamsburg Food Tour

  • Busch Gardens

Be good,


PS. Add me to your address book so I don’t land in your spam folder. If you enjoy this newsletter, forward it around and share it with whoever you want. Hope this one inspires you to explore off the beaten path.

© 2023 by Jimmy Rox

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