YORK — Sam Hall has brought a portion of Mount Rushmore to York County.
Instead of granite and dynamite, the 24-year-old Hall used corn and a lawnmower to create an iconic image of George Washington, the father of our country.
Halls work is not carved into a mountain or even a hill. Rather it is cut into just a regular cornfield, he said. The near 7-acre image is the latest corn maze offered by his familys farm, the Bush-N-Vine, on the Filbert Highway outside York.
Halls inspiration came not from Mount Rushmore but from the quarter. The Halls selected Washington as this years maze theme because it is an election year.
The maze also includes the phrase In God We Trust. Sam Hall said its not a religious statement on his part. In God We Trust is part of the maze because its on the back of the quarter and, thats what our country is about, he said.
In past years, the Halls carved their maze on a field near the highway. This years maze is down a rutted farm path, accessible by tractor or pickup truck. Those wanting to master the maze can take a hayride to its entrance.
Theres nothing fancy about the maze. It started as 100 pounds of field corn, planted 6 inches apart on rows separated by 28 inches.
Hall planted the corn in July. He googled a suitable image of Washington. When the corn was about a foot tall, he got on the lawnmower, eye-balled the image and started cutting. The hardest part, he said, was cutting Washingtons collar. It was difficult to get the lines of the collar parallel.
It took a couple of mowings to beat back the young corn. Hall let the remaining corn grow, soaking up the sun and rain. The corn is now about 8 to 10 feet tall. The field can be eerily quiet until the wind rustles the stalks. A wrong turn can lead to a densely packed dead end.
And you may not be alone. Deer tracks are embedded in the path.
Mastering the maze can be accomplished in as little as 30 minutes. But for many it takes longer because its not just a maze, its a history lesson, too.
Placed along the path are 18 questions nine in the In God We Trust section, nine along Washingtons features. The questions test ones knowledge of American history and government.
The Halls selected the questions and settled on 18 because thats the number of holes on a Putt-Putt golf course.
Everyone loves Putt-Putt, Sam Hall said.
The questions are multiple choice. Some are easier than others. The first one, however, may take some time.
Who said, Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
There is no penalty for a wrong answer. There is the satisfaction that you are smarter than a fifth-grader if you answer correctly.
The maze, which is open on Saturdays until Nov. 3, costs $5.
The maze exit is at the farms you-pick-em pumpkin patch. Amid the tangle of vines are several different varieties of pumpkins in various sizes, shapes and colors. The classic orange jack-o-lantern pumpkin is still the big seller, Hall said, but more people are now asking for green or white pumpkins.
Sometime after Nov. 3, the Halls will harvest the field corn when the kernels dry out and the maze will disappear unlike the permanence of Mount Rushmores sculptures. The corn will be sold to deer hunters as well as for animal feed.
But thats something George Washington undoubtedly would have understood. While he was a general, a president and greatly revered for his leadership, Washingtons first love was farming. He was among the first American farmers to experiment with crop rotation and fertilizers, realizing that it wasnt healthy to continually plant a field with tobacco every year.
Washington ultimately stopped planting tobacco, instead planting wheat and corn.