Even in a state with more than its fair share of outdoor art installations, Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park stands out. Literally. If you drive along Highway 12 in the blu country of rural Sauk County, you’ll find your eyes pulled toward a menagerie of scrap metal sculptures – strange creatures with metallic beaks and talons that look like something Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton might have raised together. And in the middle of that motley collection, a staggering, 300-ton sculpture that stretches skyward.
It’s called the Forevertron. And, like the rest of the sculptures in the garden, it was created by a man named Tom Every, born in 1938, who worked in the wreckage and salvage business. By the 1980s, Every had grown tired of dismantling and demolishing antique machinery. So he began building instead, creating scrap metal sculptures made up of whatever odds and ends he could get ahold of.
He also created an alter ego for himself. Dr. Evermor, Every decided, was a Victorian professor from Eggington, England, who had made it his life’s mission to construct a 50-foot-tall rocket ship to launch himself into the heavens. Every didn’t take the invented persona too seriously, but he did devote himself to the construction of the Forevertron with gusto incorporating Thomas Edison dynamos from the 1880s, power plant components from the 1920s and other historic oddities into its design. He also managed to salvage the decontamination chamber from the 1969 Apollo 11 spacecraft and work parts of it into the massive sculpture, which he designed and assembled entirely without blueprints.
Every passed away last year. But his Forevertron remains, a testament to his unique vision and creative spirit. “We’re only here a short time,” he told PBS before his death. “We’ve got to leave this planet something. We’ve got to leave it a little better than we found it.”