Sunset in PV

Sunset in PV

Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 27 - 29, 2010 - "The Garden of Eden"

We departed Spring Lake in route to Lake Wilson State Park, between Salina and Russell, Kansas, 8 miles north of I-70. Of course, no trip would be complete without a stop at Wally World for provisions. After stocking the rig, we cruised toward Salina, and continued our 30 year tradition of stopping at the last Braum’s we would see until returning to this part of paradise. They have one of the best bacon cheese burgers I have ever had. CC chose the Jalapeno burger, naturally. She claims to be of Native American descent (Choctaw to be exact), but to anyone that has known her for more than a few days can attest, she is a closet Hispanic. Two, three days tops, without Mexican food, and she can become, how shall I say, “anxious”. With both of our food cravings satisfied, we continued on our epic journey. (We didn’t buy any ice cream because we are having some problems with our refrigerator; it stopped working about a week ago. The freezer works, but it is full of perishable from the refrigerator that is not working.)

After we got set up, we hiked down to the water for a swim. The water felt wonderful on this 98 degree day, being about 82 degrees and so clear you could see your feet in depths of 5-6 feet. Definitely NOT what we are used to at Lake Texoma. We spoke with several other campers, and were told of a small town of Lucas (population 422), about 10 miles from here, and strongly recommended we vist “The Garden of Eden” located there. So…………………..always up for an adventure, off we headed.

Samuel Perry Dinsmoor, a retired schoolteacher, Civil War veteran, farmer and Populist politician, began building the Garden of Eden and Cabin Home in 1907 at the age of 64. For 22 years he fashioned 113 tons (2,273 sacks) of cement and many tons of limestone into his unique "log" cabin with its surrounding sculptures. He opened his home to guests, conducting tours on the first floor and through the yard from 1907 until a few years before his death in 1932. Now owned and operated by a group formed to preserve it, the site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and welcomes more than 10,000 visitors annually.

The photo below is of S.P. Dinsmoor and his family with his first wife. He had already built the mausoleum at The Garden of Eden, and when she died, local townspeople objected to her being laid to rest there. It was decided she be buried at the town cemetery. That night, S.P. dug up her body and entombed her in the mausoleum. It caused quite an uproar, but no one wanted to re-bury her in the town cemetery after being "ripe" for so long.

After his first wife’s death, S.P. was a dirty old man, and lusted after one of the local Czech immigrants who was so poor she didn’t have a pot to piss in, or a window to throw it out of. S.P. convinced her to marry him, and one day, The Garden of Eden would be all hers. He was 81 at the time, and she was 20. The photo below was taken shortly after they were wed. She produced two children with him, and both are still alive today. The daughter at age 87 living on Omaha, NE and the son, 83, resides in, believe or not, Aurora, CO.

No doubt S.P. died with a smile on his face, and a twinkle in his dinkle, and is entombed in the mausoleum above his first wife. The marker simply reads “S.P. Dinsmoor & Wife”. Now we know, that not only was he a horny ol’ bastard, but a chauvinistic one as well. RIP S.P. Dinsmoor. For more information on this eccentric man, visit the web site: Just another jewel we found by staying off the Interstate highways. Try it for yourself sometime!

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