The Garden of Eden is a finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas because it
is a world-renowned grassroots art site with one of the most
fascinating (and bizarre) sculpture gardens in the world!
In 1907, at the age of 62, Civil War veteran Samuel Perry Dinsmoor
began construction of this unusual site by building a structure of
limestone logs, (some up to 21 feet long) for the family home. Then,
using 113 tons of cement, Dinsmoor built 40-foot tall trees to hold his
larger than life figures for his sculpture garden. He stopped working
on the sculpture in 1929 because he went blind!
Tour guides help an observer become fully aware that every part of
every cryptic sculpture has meaning about Populist politics, modern
and the Bible that connect like a dot-to-dot puzzle. The humor and
message that he conveys through the sculptures amazes visitors.
Dinsmoor also built a mausoleum to house his mummified remains! Always
a jokester, he claimed he would wink at anyone who paid to tour the
garden. His vision was accurate and today the Garden of Eden supports
admissions. While Dinsmoor was building and creating locals tried to
run him out of town. Decades later, the Garden of Eden became the
town's main attraction and today Lucas is known as the Grassroots Art
Capital of Kansas.
Visitors to Lucas should take time to visit other grassroots
art attractions in town to understand the extent of the legacy left by
one of Kansas' most eccentric artists. Start at the downtown Grassroots
Center that showcases other grassroots artists. Also find Eric
Abraham's Ceramic Flying Pig Studio, Erika Nelson's World's Largest
Souvenir Travel Plate, Florence Deebles Sculpture Rock Garden and Mri
Pillar's 3D art of
Location: Kansas and 2nd, Lucas.
Contact: 785.525.6395; questions@garden-of-eden-
Hours and admission charge: May-October, daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.;
November-February, Saturday-Sunday 1-4 p.m. Adults $6; children 6-12 $1.