The Garden of Eden, as it’s told in the Bible, is an abundant and lush garden where all life thrives and is described as a peaceful oasis of diversity and creation. Although disputed among scholars, according to the Ancient History Encyclopedia, the real Garden of Eden could have been located in ancient Mesopotamia near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
However, it may come as a surprise that there is a “Garden of Eden” right here in the U.S. Specifically, in Lucas, Kansas. The Garden of Eden Lucas was created in 1907 by Samuel Perry (S.P.) Dinsmoor. The unique and intricate landscape of the Garden of Eden in Lucas is complete with cement trees, 150 cement sculptures, a limestone cabin, and, perhaps most interesting, the preserved corpse of Dinsmoor himself inside of a mausoleum. Dinsmoor once described his Garden of Eden as, “The most unique home, for living or dead, on earth.”
An eccentric cement wonderland
Throughout the property, you’ll see intricate sculptures of insects, angels, biblical references such as Adam and Eve and Jesus’ crucifixion, frolicking children, and numerous political messages Dinsmoor believed in. Of course, the weirdest part of this Garden of Eden is Dinsmoor’s mummified body. Before his death, he insisted on being placed in a glass-topped coffin in the mausoleum to be a permanent part of his life’s work.
“I’ve had some people say it’s exploitation,” Mary Ann Steinle, a Garden of Eden tour guide and a Dinsmoor relative, told Roadside America. “But it’s what he wanted. He put it in his Will that he wanted people to come see him. He wanted to be a permanent part of his artwork.”
Many people think Dinsmoor was odd because of his elaborate sculptures, or the fact he dug up his first wife’s body to place her in the mausoleum, or how he married his 20-year-old housekeeper when he was 81 years old, according to Legends of America. However, there’s no doubt that this quirky place attracts curious tourists, as it sees around 10,000 visitors a year.
“Now this side is modern civilization as I see it. If it is not right I am to blame, but if the Garden of Eden is not right Moses is to blame. He wrote it up and I built it,” Dinsmoor wrote in his book, Pictorial History of The Cabin Home in Garden Of Eden, Lucas, Kansas.
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