"What in the Sam Hill do you think you’re doing?!" Ever wonder where that came from?
While watching “Elf” the other day, ‘Santa’ used that epithet and I finally wondered where it came from and looked it up. So, after a few websites, I found out Sam Hill was a real person. And it further turns out, that I’ve been to his grave, but didn’t know it! And it FURTHER turns out, he was pretty important to the Pacific Northwest.
Apparently, Sam had the crazy idea of building highways. Well, he pushed the idea to making highway construction more standard. And this was years before the highway system was developed by the Federal Government. His ‘crazy’ ideas about standardizing road engineering ostensibly caused people to refer to crazy ideas as something Sam Hill would do… thus the ‘Sam Hill’ reference.
On September 14th, 2002 I was on a road trip with a friend, and we went to Maryhill, WA to see Sam’s final construction project – a complete model of Stonehenge. Remember I said I had been to his grave and didn’t know? Well, Sam didn’t like his family much, so he had his grave put on the side of the bluff, just feet away from his Stonehenge.
Be sure to check out the MaryHill Museum to plan your road trip!