Saturday, July 17, 2010

summer goal number one: s.p. dinsmoor's garden of eden in lucas, kansas

S.P. Dinsmoor, a Civil War veteran and ladies man, began building his Garden of Eden in 1907 at the age of 64, showcasing his religious and Populist political viewpoints through intersecting statues and concrete trees built over the yard of his limestone cabin home in Lucas, Kansas.
Walker heard about it here and we decided we had to go, perfect summer day trip.

Every statue told a story in a total Tim Burton-esque style, pre-Tim Burton. It was seriously one of the coolest, creepiest, eccentric and inspiring things I've ever seen.

I sort of imagined it as Dinsmoor having these ideas inside of him that he had to get out of him and express, that he put everything he had into them. That this was how he transcended the every day life in 1907, how he defied his old age and dealt with immortality, how he conversed with God, etc.

And perhaps the cherry on the top - seeing Dinsmoor's embalmed dead body in the crypt and glass coffin of his design. Beard completely intact.

I plan on writing a novel about the place, no kidding.

Other highlights include delicious curry and a stop at Little Sweden in Lindsborg, aka my worst little wooden horse nightmare - thank god for delicious German sausage sandwiches.

"The is the tree of life. The angel is guarding the apples so we can't live forever. That is tough, but it is according to Moses, and when I put the braces across to the devil's elbow and tree, I noticed he had his fork poised on a little kid. He is always after the kids. I thought if it was my God he would throw up his hand and save the kid."
- S.P. Dinsmoor