- 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
Business development stalled, market strategy assistance needed
November 16, 2013
April 10, 2013:
Managers at garden working with County Landmarks Commission on proposed changes
Volunteer weekends at the garden
Saving today for tomorrow
Outlet: Oregon Business
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.
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.