Petersen Rock Garden and Museum, Redmond

#5 of 11 in Things to do in Redmond
Specialty Museum · Museum
Petersen Rock Garden, formerly Petersen's Rock Garden and also known as the Petersen Rock Gardens, is a rock garden and museum on, located between the cities of Bend and Redmond in Deschutes County, Oregon, United States. Rasmus Petersen, a Danish immigrant who settled in Central Oregon in the early 1900s, began constructing the garden in 1935 using rocks he found within an 85mi radius of his family home. Petersen constructed detailed miniature castles, churches and other small buildings and monuments from a variety of rock types. He incorporated other design elements such as bridges, water features and natural landscaping. Petersen worked on the garden until his death in 1952; the garden has remained in his family's care since then. The garden, considered a roadside attraction with novelty architecture, includes roaming peafowl and a museum with a gift shop that sells rocks.
In 2011, Petersen Rock Garden was named one of Oregon's Most Endangered Places by the Historic Preservation League of Oregon (now known as Restore Oregon). In 2012, accidental damage to one of the stone bridges by a contractor catalyzed an effort to document the garden using laser scanning and other technologies. The garden was closed temporarily in 2013 to undergo repair and review for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Petersen has been praised for his creative work, and the garden has received a positive reception for its uniqueness and local significance. Listing on the National Register was achieved on October 30, 2013.
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Petersen Rock Garden and Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
147 reviews
  • As a few others have remarked, the artistry is incredible but the state of the facility is abominable. There are broken- down cars everywhere, campers and a home that I am amazed anyone could live in....  more »
  • What a phenomenal place this could be with the right ownership! Current owners (family?) have let it run down so poorly that it is actually shameful. So very sad that the creative & hardworking...  more »
  • Sadly, this historic place is in much need of maintenance and repair. This was a place my family visited when my siblings and I were very young, about 50 years ago. It still holds charm and great nostalgia for my sisters and I. The years of work put into this landmark is truly amazing. I would highly recommend visiting and encouraging volunteer groups to assist in a much needed, and worth while, restoration project.
  • A little run down due to owner's declining health but well worth the drive. The new help is super friendly and enthusiastic. They are working on making the Garden beautiful again. They even opened up the museum after they were closed just so we could get a rock. There is a lot of peacocks!
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