History of the World in Granite
Coming west out of Yuma one crosses into the State of California where there is a long stretch of nothing for many, beautiful open space for others, and the great southwestern desert for me. About 8 miles later there is the off ramp for Felicity,
However there appears to be nothing, give one lone gas station. One turns down the frontage road on the north side and the next thing you see is the site of the History of the World in Granite.
What could this be one might ask? There is a rusty spiral staircase standing alone. There is a chapel on the hill in the distance. As you turn in the drive way there is an honor system three dollar donation. You can visit this museum anytime, if it is ‘open’ or not.
Jacques-Andre Istel – A genius
This place is an incredible piece of work created by and continuing to be created by Jacques-Andre Istel and his crew. To wrap your mind around a place like this can be a real stretch. Here in the middle of the desert with stark surroundings, with no services for you our your car in site, on a frontage road lies an incredible project of mammoth proportions.
As you may know from my stories and reviews, really enjoy odd museums and monuments. This is a world class odd museum / monument. When I travel I look for and stop at these places. To find a project, as this one is, still under construction, and of this magnitude is a jaw dropper. This is the start of a monument that has been designed to last 4,000 year (yes that was four thousand).
It seems this Frenchman and his wife must have needed a project. So with the help of scholars and others a lot of history is carved into hundreds of granite panels. The connection with France has the entire history of French aviation and aeronautics. The US history of our wars and conquests is on a series of panels. Starry Night by VanGough is on one panel. Religious history is on another set of panels. There are many blank panels for growth. There is room for your history as well. If you are ever in or near Yuma, this is just 8 miles out of town and if you curiosity was not fired up, then you can go a little south of Yuma and find the place where you can look north into Mexico from the US. Have fun on your travels