Thursday, August 1, 2013

Shangri-La Stone Village

Shangri-La Stone Village, Prospect Hill, North Carolina.
Normally I’d just post an image and be done, but this place is so cool it deserves more.It’s been about 15 years since I’ve been to Shangri-La Stone Village. I found out about it in a book by Roger Manley “Signs and Wonders: Outsider Art Inside North Carolina ”. I was on assignment in Hillsborough, NC and knew I was close to Shangri-La. So after the shoot I headed down Hwy. 86 looking for Shangri-La. I was a little apprehensive about going. When I was last at Shangri-La, it was a bright sunny day, blue skies and puffy clouds and the village was in great shape. As I drove I thought,15 years, this place is going to be in ruins and falling apart. I approached with a feeling of dread, but to my surprise it looked like someone/people have been taking care of it. This is only an hour drive from Raleigh, so if you’re local you should really check it out. Here’s some history on Shangri-La Stone Village I got off ( If you’re driving any where always check it out,there are so many cool places around.)
Shangri-La Stone VillageHenry L. Warren was a retired tobacco farmer in 1968 when he began building leprechaun-size buildings in his side yard. He called it Shangri-La, and by the  time he died nine years later (at age 84) the miniature town had 27 structures.Henry built solid, using rock he blasted from his own property. Shangri-La has a gym, bank, library, gas station, theater, and hotel. Henry reportedly worked on his tiny town from dawn to dusk, day after day, and at the same time used his considerable energy to incorporate 11,000 arrowheads into the walkways of his home. His wife once told us: “As long as he had a cigarette and a Coca-Cola, he’d keep building."A sign in front of Henry’s house reads, “Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man." He died while working on Shangri-La’s hospital.

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