A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Out Back

Lucas, Kansas
Garden of Eden
Samuel P. Dinsmore Home

His strawberry garden.  He thought why bend over to pick strawberrys? Behind that you see his "visitors dining hall"  In Sam's words:  "This is my visitor's dining hall where they eat lunch.  21 feet square, concrete floor, roof and tables.  No wood used except the seats.  The tables are 4 feet wide and 17 1/2 feet long.  A good well of water adjoining.  Over 1000 visitors have eaten dinner at my tables and not one has ever complained of their grub, something I don't think any hotel man in Kansas can boast of.  They don't seem to know how to run their hotel without complaint.  If I were running a hotel I would let them furnish their own grub as I do here.  There are 4 lights over the tables and lights 20 feet above the roof, which light up the tables and yard at night."

The wash room.  Think how nice you ladies have it today.  Now the little booklet I have states the entire wash house is cement and the only wood used here is for the doors and windows.  But it goes on to state it is wired for light, electric washer and iron.  So perhaps the electric washing machine went missing and was replaced at a much later date with this hand operated one by the museum.  

He had a tool shed and workshop but it was closed off, being used for storage.  Some of his tools were placed on display in the wash room.

This is one aspect of Dinsmore I did not approve of.  He had is own private zoo.  The pagoda shaped building to the right was his badger, owl and pigeon roost.  To the left is his coyote and eagle house.  The coyote lived in the bottom which was sunk down three feet in the ground with a den for him to sleep in.  The eagle roost was above and the two separated by a concrete floor.  The wire mesh is missing.  These two cages were made all of cement, wire and iron, no wood used.  In front was the bobcat house.  You will recall seeing three of these critters now residing inside the home.  I don't know what became of the owl or badger.  They may be in the home too and I missed them.  I don't remember what the two squared plots to the left were.  One may have been a well.  


  1. The strawberries solution is great. Not to bend over anymore. The washingroom tools I remember from my childhood. My mother used them a whole day in the week to do the washing for our family of five persons. She was exhausted in the end of the day. I only push a button now...

  2. The guy could shape the whole world,given time.

  3. the guy was ahead of his time on the 'raised bed' strawberry gardening. :) i, too, disapprove of his very small zoo enclosures.

  4. I'm one of those people who never say "give me the good ol' days" ....man...I love my washer and dryer and even as far back as my own childhood... like the first commenter ... I remember how difficult a wash day was for our Mom with four kids. One of my sisters tried to climb up on our old ringer washer one day, it was soapy of course, and she fell, catching her hand in the belt under it.... cut herself deeply across three fingers... luckily she still has them.... oh, yeh...let me throw in clothes and just press a button....whew.....I appreciate my good fortune every single day. Now, I'm off to press the dishwasher button too...we are sooooo lucky these days ...and lots of folks don't even appreciate it.

  5. Old Sam was a walking advert for concrete (shame his recipe was secret).
    Not sure I would approve of the zoo either but there again we're putting the attitudes of the 21st century on the behaviour of 100 years ago.

  6. WOW! I've just spent time reading all your posts about Samuel Dinsmore. What a great travelogue and photos to match, and what an interesting and one-of-a-kind man. I would have liked to know him too!

  7. neat strawberry idea.


  8. Excellent strawberry garden.

  9. the tiered strawberry garden is a great idea!

  10. I like the old tools, especially the drill. They are good and don't need power.


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