Ohio August 15, 2019
Ohio’s Magnificent Rock Garden And Cathedral Is Truly A Work Of Art
One of the most impressive American folk art sites can be found right here in Ohio—and it’s a backyard masterpiece that will likely make you do a double-take. You’ll observe a mixture of history, religion, and Depression-era pop culture at the Hartman Rock Garden, built by Harry “Ben” Hartman from 1932 – 1939. The garden can be seen today at the corner of McCain and Russell streets in Springfield.
It’s a truly unique roadside attraction you have to see to believe.
Composed of more than 250,000 individual stones, this backyard museum is an iconic marvel that belongs on your bucket list.
Address: 1905 Russell Avenue, Springfield, OH, 45506
After Ben Hartman was laid off from his job during the Great Depression in 1932, he started working on this unique masterpiece. He maintained it with his wife Mary for several years. Both had a passion for gardening.
A few years after the couple passed away, the garden was purchased and restored by the Wisconsin-based Kohler Foundation in 2008. It was unofficially reopened in June of 2010.
Today, you never know what you'll spot at Hartman Rock Garden. Look a bit closer and the detail will amaze. Pictured below: The Betsy Ross House.
When you visit, please be respectful of the property. Don't touch any of the objects in the garden and do not walk on the flower beds. (The house and shed are also off limits to the public.)
Self guided tours are always free, but you can schedule a guided tour via email. Click
here for more information.
Guided tours cost $10 per person and last about 45 minuets to an hour.
The garden is owned, interpreted, and maintained by the Friends of the Hartman Rock Garden, a local non-profit.
Volunteers are always welcome. You can find more information about volunteering and donating
The 14-ft. tall cathedral is one of the most impressive structures in the garden. It depicts several biblical scenes and figures, including a version of DaVinci’s Last Supper.
Each time you visit the garden, you'll likely find something new you didn't see the previous time.
New features such as flowers, landscaping and a small pond make the garden extra interesting in the spring and summer months.
(During your visit, please do not throw coins into the ponds.)
And since the garden is open year-round, it's not unusual to spot a seasonal stone structure or two.
The creativity and artwork you'll observe at this Ohio treasure is continuous.
Hartman Rock Garden is free of charge to view and is open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. Donations are appreciated.
Have you ever been to Hartman Rock Garden before? If so, share your photos and experiences with us!
For more unique roadside attractions in Ohio, check out our previous article:
14 Bizarre Roadside Attractions In Ohio That Will Make You Do A Double Take.