When Danish immigrant Rasmus Peterson (1883-1952) came to America at 17, he started collecting all kinds of colorful local rocks from the area around his home in the Cascade Mountain. These colorful rocks included Oregon agates, obsidian, petrified wood, malachite and jasper. However it wasn’t until 1935, when he was 52 after a lifetime of rock collecting, that Rasmus Peterson began building things out of his rocks. At first, it was just a small rockery near his home. But Peterson kept on building on his 4-acre site until his death in 1952. He had been building for 17 years and had mortared tens of thousands of rocks together into miniature buildings, monuments, lagoons and bridges.
The result is in an amazing 4 acre park featuring replicas of historic buildings, bridges, towers and many other wonderful structures all created out of rocks and petrified wood. Additionally there is a museum on the grounds featuring a variety of rock specimens, and picnic sites are available. The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, and the park is open from 9 am to sunset.
Know Before You Go
Midway between Bend and Redmond. From US 97 turn north on SW 61st St., then left on Young Ave. Cross Canal Blvd and then quickly turn right on SW 77th St. The Garden is less than a mile on the right.It was closed in September of 2016. Reopening is pending.