LUCAS AND THE GARDEN OF EDEN
In north central Kansas along rural east/ west highway # 18 is a tiny town called Lucas. In this town is a house made from stone but it looks like a log cabin and The garden of Eden. The house was finished being built in 1907 but the yard sculptures were continuously added onto. It was built by Civil War veteran Mr. Samuel Perry Dinsmoor. He was something of a folk artist and he not only designed all the sculptures and weird figures in his yard but he also built them including the unique house which is made of local limestone. Lucas and the surrounding area is considered post rock country where local limestone is turned it into fence posts and masonry stone blocks for buildings, etc.
Dinsmoor’s home was built to look like a log home which it does but the logs although hewn are made of rock which is quite unique. Each of those logs weighed a lot and required many men and pulley systems to raise them into position. The yard has many sculptures, some strange some represent moral rules from the bible and some are merely political or whatever his odd sense of artistry was. He art is considered a type of folk art by many. He also built a mausoleum and his 1st wife Frances is sealed in the vault and he is in his coffin on top that is sealed but it also has a glass to over his upper half so people can view him even though he died 80+ years ago.
Mr. Dinsmoor was an eccentric to say the least. He remarried at 81 years old to a young woman named Emily who was 20 years old in 1924 and they had 2 children together.
He basically intended that at least part of the house was always to be a museum and to attract visitors. He even had some exotic animals in his back yard. Regardless it is well worth a stop in this little town. Another interesting item in his house was some game tables he built himself with intricate inlaid wood. A lot of work but really nice
Jim’s grandfather Allan McKnight Barton had a claim to fame he liked to say that “he was born before the Garden of Eden”. In a way it’s true as he was not only born in Lucas, Kansas but he also was born on the current location where the rock log house now resides. Of course it was just a little before Mr. Dinsmoor came along and built his log house but there was a frame house on that location when grandpa was born in 1903, so he truly could say he was born there!