Marcus and I have both spent a majority of our lives in Sauk County, Wisconsin. This is nothing surprising or odd, but given that we’ve both been around here for over 30 years and had yet to meander into the world behind Delaney’s Surplus, well it’s kind of sad. Marcus’ parents live about 1/4 mile away from the place, so that makes it even more odd.
We spent last Sunday afternoon at a family reunion. Being so close to Dr Evermor’s and having a bit of time to kill, I figured we just had to finally see what lay behind the thick tree line and fencing. I had no idea what to expect. Was it a collection of junk? Was it falling down and in complete disrepair? Thankfully, no. While rust and time have given the metal sculptures some patina, most of the park is kept up well and only a few outlying pieces were being taken back by the weeds and under brush.
So what did we see? Forevertron of course! Post-apocalyptic meets Steampunk meets sculptural art. If an evil scientist was planning on taking over the world with a gargantuan death ray and a gang of trombone monsters, this is what it would look like. Truthfully though, the artist, Tom Every built the machine for the fictional Dr Evermor to “launch himself into the heavens on a magnificent lightening force beam.” Wikipedia’s words, not mine. As you enter the park the main attraction sits dead center, greedily hogging the spotlight. It’s staircases and bridges, beams and wheels make it appear you should be able to climb and conquer this behemoth of a structure. There are platforms and towers connected by whimsical ways and tinkering levers. It’s truly a sight. My favorite part is a telescope, so one could watch as the Dr ascended.
Behind the main star is a musical dragon. You can actually play its body by banging other metal bits on it. A perfect precursor to the gaggle of instrument beings in the nearby bird symphony. Xylophone birds and creatures with flutes for beaks stand at attention waiting for a sign from the conductor. The birds vary in size from a few feet tall to 10-15 feet or more. Tubas and strings are all represented here. A small frog ensemble waits for their turn to play a solo at the front.
Not to be outdone by the sheer numbers in the orchestra, a spider has its domineering size to thank for the attention it receives. This arachnid is straight out of the Wild Wild West and Will Smith should be here to lasso it soon.
Beyond the large structural pieces there are a significant number of hodge-podge and random articles that are no less fascinating. I loved the old telephone booths and cars. I also would love to own one of the many cupolas scattered around. Old washing tubs lay abandoned next to wrought iron dragon flies with nuts for eyes.
The feeling I had when walking around in the park was almost like I was seeing an adult amusement park that should be somewhere near Chernobyl. How a man could take these discarded items and manipulate them into becoming a totally new idea is beyond my understanding. Not only that, but to arrange and weld these pieces together must have been amazing to watch.
I love old industrial things and Steampunk in general so this trip was very cool for me. I’d love to see this place through a child’s eyes. A little fear and some wonderment perhaps, but what emotions play out in other people when they are confronted by Dr Evermor’s unique art. For this area the art is seen as over the top and distasteful. Talking about the park to older people garners some eye rolls and sideways looks. There’s something very off but also very curious about what lays hidden back there and I don’t know if people appreciate the talent it took to create. It will be interesting to see what happens to Forevertron in the future. It’s currently an almost unknown stop along the highway. Time will tell.
Have you visited Forevertron? What was your favorite piece?