We drove to the tiny town of Regent today, we wanted to see the fabulous metal sculptures along the highway. If you take exit 72 off Interstate 94 near Dickinson, North Dakota, this stretch of highway is known as the Enchanted Highway, which stretches for 32 miles, right into the town of Regent, North Dakota. The Enchanted Highway is the artistic creation of local Regent resident, Gary Greff. Gary Greff constructed these sculptures in an attempt to bring people to the area. This part of North Dakota is mostly agricultural, and Greff wanted to do something that would help attract business and visitors to his tiny town.
These six metal sculptures were the beginning of Gary Greff’s artistic career. He had been both a teacher and a principal in the town of Regent, and his inspiration came from a hay bale strongman that had been built by a local farmer. He had seen people stop along the highway to take pictures of this attraction and felt that if he built something along these lines, it would add interest to his town. Soon, he began designing, welding and painting his first sculpture to place along the highway.
His first sculpture was the Tin Family, which was built in 1991. It consists of Ma, Pa and their Tin Son. The Tin Pa is 45 feet tall, the Tin Ma is 44 feet tall and the Tin Son is 23 feet tall. Gary Greff constructed and welded these projects from used farm equipment with help from family and friends. The Tin Family was such a big hit that other sculptures soon followed.
The sculpture, "Theodore Roosevelt Rides Again" was erected in 1993. This sculpture is a tribute to the part Roosevelt played in the history of North Dakota. It is made from used oil well pipe. Next came the “Pheasants on the Prairie” in 1996. This Pheasant Family features a mother, father and three pheasant chicks. These sculptures were made from used wire mesh. These three dimensional sculptures took three years to do. The rooster is 70 feet long and 40 feet tall. The next sculptures erected were the "Grasshoppers Delight" in 1999. These grasshoppers are a reminder of how difficult it is to do farm work. The biggest grasshopper is 60 feet long and 40 feet tall, and these were made from used oil well tanks and fuel tanks.
The "Geese in Flight" sculpture was erected in 2001. It is currently listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest metal sculpture in the world. The most recent sculpture erected is the "Deer Crossing," which features a 75 foot tall buck jumping over a fence. It was made from used oil well tanks. Gary Greff is hard at work on his next sculpture, which is called "Fisherman’s Dream and will include a giant bass fish.
There is an Enchanted Highway gift shop located in Regent, North Dakota. To contact Mr. Greff regarding his sculptures, you can call (701) 563-6400. It was an amazing drive, we highly recommend it to all our readers. Check back later for more from North Dakota.