Location: Lucas, Kansas
Wow, where do we start. What a unique, hilarious and interesting spot to visit. Located in the artsy town of Lucas, Kansas is the Garden of Eden. No, not the one the bible is farmiliar with.
This Garden of Eden is a one of 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 civilization, 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! Which, are also on display to see. 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 itself through 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.
On a 1-10 scale of something to visit in Kansas, I give it a 12.