Go Here: Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden in Kansas
After returning from his work as a nurse during the Civil War, S.P. Dinsmoor built himself a 10-room log cabin and spent the rest of his life making it into a weird, awesome art installation. Not a bad way to spend your days.
By the time he died in 1932, Dinsmoor's 'Garden of Eden' contained over 200 concrete sculptures which illustrated his religious beliefs and depicted images from his passion for the short-lived Populist Movement, a political party based around the rejection of the elite class which grew out of agrarian unrest in the late 1800s.
The Garden of Eden is a monument to the plight of the poor, working man's struggle, and it's a symbol of victory -- it stands as proof that it is possible to spend your life working on something you're passionate about. Dinsmoor did not return from the war a rich man, only a determined one, with a clear and powerful vision that has far outlasted his own life.
DInsmoor and his wife's remains sit inside of a mausoleum in a far corner of the property, and a tour of the grounds includes the chance to see Dinsmoor inside of a sealed glass and concrete coffin. On the wall of the mausoleum is a double exposed photo that depicts Dinsmoor himself viewing his own remains.
The Garden of Eden is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas, and is on the National Registry for Historic Places, so thankfully it will be protected and remain an important piece of hope in history for years to come. Don't wait too long to visit, though, it's too awesome. Plus, it's not too far from Cawker City, KS, which I told you about not too long ago, as it's home to the World's Largest Ball of Sissal Twine. As if you needed another reason to go to Kansas.
Check out the Garden of Eden website for more information on hours and tours, and to learn more about Dinsmoor.