Petersen Rock Garden

Petersen Rock Garden, Redmond





Rasmus Petersen

Rasmus Petersen




  • Built: 1930s and 1940s
  • Architect: Rasmus Petersen
  • Designation: Local landmark
  • Significance: Roadside architecture, geology
  • Current Status: The Garden has suffered from years of vandalism and deterioration due to climate and deferred maintenance.

News and Updates

Fall 2014

Business development stalled, market strategy assistance needed

November 16, 2013

Central Oregon roadside attraction placed on National Register

April 10, 2013:

Managers at garden working with County Landmarks Commission on proposed changes

February 2013:

Volunteer weekends at the garden

June 2012:

Saving today for tomorrow
Outlet: Oregon Business

i-TEN Associates providing laser scan of property for documentation
and preservation planning.


December 22, 2011:

Restore Oregon awards $2500 grant for National Register nomination


In 1906 Rasmus Petersen moved to Redmond (four years before the city’s official incorporation) to begin an agricultural operation. An avid rock collector and notable within the geology community, Petersen amassed a significant collection of local rocks. By the mid-1930s, a sizable rock garden began to appear on his property.

Over the years, acre by acre, obsidian, jasper, agates, thunder eggs, and petrified wood took form in sculptures. By the 1950s, castles, ponds, bridges, villages, and various designs of rocks covered four acres. The property became a tourist magnet, becoming one of Redmond’s best-known attractions.

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Since Petersen’s death in 1952, the family has operated the rock garden as a museum and roadside attraction. Although the will and the interest are present, the Rock Garden needs major maintenance, a business plan and a publicity campaign to ensure stewardship and funds are available to overcome vandalism, theft, and condition issues. Its significance to the local community – and its unique expression of mid-century roadside architecture – make the Peterson Rock Garden a real gem.

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