The Creepy Abandoned Field In Virginia That's Home To 42 Gigantic Presidential Heads

The Abraham Lincoln statue is a clear case of art imitating life.

presidents park abandoned heads Mobilus In Mobili / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

There are plenty of strange places to visit in the United States. You can find those that are so remote no one can go there, places that have been shut down because the public couldn’t help trespassing for nefarious reasons, and those where people allegedly just come up missing.

But in Croaker, Virginia, there is a field on a private farm that is laced with presidential busts. The 42 gigantic abandoned president heads stand 20 feet tall and weigh close to 20,000 pounds each!


And the ruins are quite... creepy.

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What is Presidents Park, otherwise known as Presidents Heads?

Presidents Park was originally a ten-acre sculpture park and indoor museum located in colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.


It had giant busts of 42 men who had once been President of the United States, including George Washington, George W. Bush, and Richard Nixon.

presidents park williamsburg virginiaPhoto: via Wikimedia Commons

The presidential heads were designed by sculptor, David Adickes, who was inspired by Mount Rushmore. It opened in March of 2004, hosted by a local entrepreneur who focused on creating tourist attractions, Everette H. Haley Newman III.


Newman had been slowly moving the busts of presidents to the expansive park since 2000 and was excited when it finally opened to the public.

Unfortunately, by September 2010, the park had closed due to financial problems and the president heads were scheduled to be auctioned off on April 26, 2012. That bidding war was canceled, leaving many wondering what would become of the statues.

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What happened to the sculptures?

In January of that year, a man named Howard Hankins began moving the heads to a private property in Croaker, Virginia for storage. He aspired to revitalize them in the future so they could once again be displayed as a visitor attraction and he couldn’t bring himself to destroy them.


As you might imagine, the statues were very precarious to transport. Hankins decided to punch holes in the tops of the heads of each one in order to access the metal frames within for moving them.

While relocating the busts, many of them suffered damage like parts falling off or additional holes appearing in them.




The interesting and ironic thing is what happened with Abraham Lincoln’s statue.

Part of his bust on the back of the head broke off during transportation, leaving a gaping hole. Coincidentally, Lincoln was shot in the back of the head when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C.


Though they are securely stored on the farm, the presidents’ heads are not open to the public.

However, local photographer, John Plashal, offers tours from time to time that can be scheduled by visiting his website. There is also a GoFundMe campaign to raise money needed to move the heads once again to a place where visitors can see them in all their splendor.

To learn more about the efforts to save the statues, the "All the Presidents’ Heads" documentary offers great insight!

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.