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Lucas, Kansas

The Garden of Eden

Self-built house and sculpture park where the creator can still be seen in a glass coffin. 

One of the “Eight Wonders of Kansas Art,” the Garden of Eden is a home and sculpture park built by civil war veteran Samuel Dinsmoor. Dinsmoor was a farmer, mason and political radical who often attended meetings of the rational and materialist “free thinkers.” Dinsmore displayed this free thinking in the construction of his concrete house, concrete barn, concrete pyramid, and a concrete spring that he supplied with water by illegally tapping into the town’s water main.

His final act was building a concrete mausoleum, and when he died after 21 years of building, he was placed in a glass coffin within that mausoleum, making himself the final and ultimate exhibit in his labor of love. He made sure to provide for his family and in his will he wrote,

“None except my widow, my descendants, their husbands and wives, shall go in to see me for less than $1.”

We explored the Garden of Eden on Obscura Day - March 20th, 2010. Photos, stories and more here