Lynn Schneider, a tour guide at the Garden of Eden in Lucas, leads many of the 10,000 tourists a year through the unique creation of Samuel Perry Dinsmoor. Today's owner, Garden of Eden Inc., is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Dinsmoor's Eden, which includes 113 tons of concrete.
S.P. Dinsmoor outside his mausoleum. When his first wife, Francis A. Journey, died in 1917, he built it and then dug her up from the local cemetery. He surrounded her coffin in cement inside the mausoleum to ensure it wouldn't be moved. At his request, when he died in 1932, he was placed in a glass-sided coffin and put on display where he can be seen today.
The Garden of Eden features 150 sculptures of varying sizes and shapes. The cement trees range from 8 feet tall to 40 feet tall. The sculptures include angels, devils, American flags, storks and an 'all-seeing eye.'
Samuel Perry Dinsmoor, a retired teacher, Civil War veteran and Populist politician, began building The Garden of Eden and Cabin Home in 1907 at age 64. At age 81, he married second wife, Emilie Brozek, a 20-year-old housekeeper and they had two children.
Kansas University associate professor of sculpture John Hachmeister purchased the Garden of Eden in 1989 by forming Garden of Eden Inc., which owns and preserves the property.