Petersen Rock GardensRasmus Petersen (1883 - 1952)




7930 SW 77th St, Redmond, Oregon, 97756, United States


1935 to 1952

About the Artist/Site

By 1935, Danish-Born farmer Rasmus Petersen had begun turning his backyard into what would become a must-see tourist destination in central Oregon. Petersen used local rocks including petrified wood, agate, jasper, thundereggs, malachite, lava, and obsidian, in crafting intricate structures across four acres of his property. Intricate castles, sculptures, bridges, and fountains dot the landscape along with free-roaming peacocks, chickens, and ducks.

The rock-crusted buildings attracted a quarter of a million visitors by 1974, and continued to thrive while the community surrounding the garden grew. A museum on the site provides fascinating geological displays and artifacts from the indigenous tribes that reside in the area, exhibited as part of the garden’s mission to educate and amaze guests.

The 21st century has brought many changes to Petersen’s rock garden. After being declared one of Oregon’s endangered places in 2011, the site received a preservation grant and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. Various issues including financial setbacks led to the rock garden closing indefinitely by 2016. As of 2022, Petersen’s granddaughter Susan Caward has announced that management of the rock garden and museum has been transferred to new owners who have plans to restore Petersen’s project to its former splendor.

~Nikki Ranney, 2023




found materials, wood, thunder eggs

SPACES Archives Holdings

1 folder: clippings, correspondence, pamphlets, images

Map & Site Information

7930 SW 77th St
Redmond, Oregon, 97756 us
Latitude/Longitude: 44.2033884 / -121.2626247

Nearby Environments

Driftwood Monsters

Sisters-Millican, Oregon

Enchanted Forest Park

Turner, Oregon

Bottle Ranch

Dallas, Oregon

El Fincho Rancho / Zig Zag Zoo

Agate Beach, Oregon

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