Sold! For $227,000
11:38 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Since You Missed That Nike Missile Base, Perhaps We Could Interest You In A Missouri Stonehenge

The former launch site near Hecker, Ill., is weather-worn, but the underground missile bunkers are intact and the elevators work.
Credit Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

That old Nike missile launch site that’s been in the news lately could have been yours for $227,000, but since you missed that real estate gem, perhaps broker Wayne Keller could interest you in a Show-Me State version of Stonehenge.

Keller, whose buy-a-farm.com usually sells farms with silos that hold grain not Hercules missiles, says he’s marketed some unique properties in the past -- including a kitty litter plant. But selling a Cold War relic has been a blast.

“It’s certainly been the highlight so far,’’ he said.

Ever the salesman, Keller adds that he just listed the “Stonehenge” of Southeast Missouri with an asking price of $149,000. This 54-acre property near Patton, Mo., comes with a mobile home AND a downsized replica of the famous prehistoric monument in England.

Keller just listed a Missouri version of Stonehenge.
Credit Provided by buyafarm.com

The man who built it apparently never outgrew his childhood fancy with stacking rocks. He dubbed his hilltop monument “The Circle,” according to the Southeast Missourian, which wrote about it a few years ago. The mini-Stonehenge consists of 12 Gasconade dolomite stones that represent the months of the year.

The high bid for the old missile site near Hecker, Ill., was from Ron Mertens, a businessman from Smithton. Mertens hasn’t said what he intends to do with the place, said Keller.

As St. Louis Public Radio reported in June, the 14-acre launch site was part of the St. Louis Air Defense System, a protective ring of four missile bases that operated from mid-1959 to early 1969. Though the site hadn’t seen a Hercules missile since it was deactivated by the Army, the underground bunkers are intact, with working elevators.

About 200 people showed up for the auction July 12 at the Hecker Community Center, but less than one-fourth of them registered to bid, Keller said. The auction took about 20 minutes.

“The locals were curious,’’ he said.

And so was most everyone else. In recent weeks, reporters made the trek to Monroe County to tour the old missile station, and a video on Kellers’ website had more than 200,000 hits.

The auction proceeds go to Career Center of Southern Illinois, a cooperative vocational school district that has owned the property since the early 1970s. Keller also donated his commission to the school.

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