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The Garden of Eden
Story and Photos by Larry Harris


Samuel Dinsmoor didn’t begin sculpting his masterpiece until he was in his mid-sixties. But his age didn’t hold him back from creating one of the most bizarre, gossip inducing pieces of public art Kansas has ever seen--the Garden of Eden.

Dinsmoor originally conceived the project as a way to promote the political philosophies of the Populist Party, even though that political party had already

by and large died out. For twenty-one years Dinsmoor, who taught himself how to sculpt, used concrete to create pieces commenting on the economy, religion, and other aspects of society. All of them were put on public display, not too far from the center of town and along the railroad tracks so travelers could spy his creations in passing.

Some of the concrete creations include 40-foot tall trees, Adam and Eve, and an electrified devil with light up eyes. Adam, in fact, was originally presented without anything covering his sizable genitalia--Dinsmoor told the curious townsfolk that he himself had been the model for the statue.

Dinsmoor is currently part of the display he labored two decades to create. Upon his death, he stipulated that he be placed in a concrete coffin near the entrance to the Garden of Eden. His coffin is encased in glass and adorned with an angel and a water jug.

Where: 305 east 2nd street, Lucas, Kansas
Status: Open to the public

Weird Kansas

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