As It Happens

Virginia man has 43 crumbling busts of US presidents on his farm

Howard Hankins is the proud owner of the enormous presidential busts. He's hoping to raise enough money so he can open a museum to properly display them.
A collection of some of the busts on Howard Hankins' farm in Croaker, Virginia. (Pablo Iglesias Maurer/

A Virginia man who owns 43 presidential busts is raising money so that he can open a museum to properly display them. The statues — some of which weigh up to 20,000 pounds — are currently sitting on Howard Hankins' farm in Croaker, Virginia.

"They're so massive. You can see them from a mile away," Hankins tells As it Happens host Carol Off.

The busts were originally commissioned for a tourist attraction that opened in Williamsburg, Virginia a decade ago. But, following financial difficulties, the park closed.

Hankins, who's in the construction business, was tasked with getting rid of the busts. He decided to keep them and move them to his farm.

"I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to save them because they wanted me to crush them," he says. 

A glimpse at Abe Lincoln's busted head. (Pablo Iglesias Maurer/

Over the years, some of the busts have accumulated some damage — especially Abraham Lincoln.

"Lincoln fell over, unfortunately, and he has got a big hole in the back of his head."

Already, the busts have attracted a lot of attention, including from photographers drawn to the impressive display. 

Hankins has a statue of every American president except Obama, which he plans on commissioning when his museum is up and running. He's also going to make space at his museum for whoever's chosen in the next election. 

And who's Hankins' pick for the next president of the United States? Donald Trump.

"I think it probably will be, the way things are going," says Hankins. "I think he can handle it."


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