Samuel P. Dinsmoor

Samuel P. Dinsmoor of Lucas, Kansas served with distinction in the Union army during the Civil War. Dejected and deranged when his wife died in 1917, Dinsmoor retreated into building a log cabin out of limestone in his yard. He was neither an architect nor an engineer and at age 64, Dinsmoor was not even healthy. His cabin finished, Dinsmoor set out to create the intertwining concrete sculptures that would even be known as Dinsmoor’s “Garden of Eden.”

Termed as “Second Adam” by the sensationalist press of the time, Dinsmoor would continue to depict his interpretations of the Bible and modern civilization in the sculpture form for the next 25 years. At the age of 81, he married his 20-year old Czechoslovakian housekeeper and fathered two children. But a grim sense of memento mori was slowly catching up with him: he took a double-exposed photograph of himself looking at his “corpse” as a postcard. The photo–hugely popular for some reason–now hangs in his mausoleum, where the remains of Dinsmoor in a concrete Masonic coffin with a glass lid has been since his death in 1932. (Dinsmoor even prepared his death to be a part of the attraction).

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