Farm Home of Rasmus Petersen, Redmond, Oregon photograph album, circa 1940-1950  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Symons, Myron
Farm Home of Rasmus Petersen, Redmond, Oregon photograph album
circa 1940-1950 (inclusive)
1 album of 12 photographic prints (1 folder) ; various sizes
Collection Number
Collection of photographs taken by Myron Symons documenting the rock gardens created by Rasmus Petersen at his home in Redmond, Oregon
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Entire collection can be viewed on the Libraries’ Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials Curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Rasmus Petersen was born in 1883 in Denmark. In 1900, Petersen immigrated to the United States and settled in the state of Oregon near the Cascade Mountains in 1906. He built a two-story Craftsman house and adjoining farm. As a personal hobby, he began collecting rocks on his land, including Oregon agates, obsidian, petrified wood, malachite, and jasper. In 1935, Petersen began building miniature buildings, monuments, and bridges out of rocks. By his death in 1952, Petersen had created a four-acre rock garden. Petersen's Rock Garden (called Petersen Rock Garden and Museum from the mid 1950s on) is a well-known Oregon roadside attraction.

Myron Symons was an Oregon photographer in the early 1900s. Symons, orginally from New York, moved to Seattle at the age of fifteen. After a three-year apprenticeship to a jeweler, he worked in a Dawson, British Columbia, jewelry store for almost two years; while living in Dawson, he gained experience in scenic photography by photographing the Yukon. Symons returned to Seattle where he was married and opened his own jewelry store but moved to Bend, Oregon, in 1915. In Bend he established the first jewelry store in the O'Kane Hotel building and became known as a local photographer. Symons photographed sawmills, local businesses, the Cascade Mountains, and other areas of interest in central Oregon. In 1920, his brother Archie became a partner in the jewelry store. Myron's photographs were sold in booklets by the Symons Brothers jewelry store. After Myron's death in 1959, the editor of The Bulletin wrote that Myron's work was the "record, displayed in pictures and slides at outdoor shows in California, that brought to the attention of thousands the little-known scenic Deschutes country of central Oregon."

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection is composed of one album of photographs taken by Myron Symons of Petersen's Rock Garden, located near Redmond, Oregon. The photographs show the monuments, miniature buildings, and bridges that compose the gardens. Also documented are the two-story Craftsman house and the surrounding land.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

Typed introduction on first page of album: "Miniature castles, picturesque fountains and beautiful terraces within the grounds pictured here, on the Rasmus Peterson place between Bend and Redmond, Oregon, tell their own stories, but unless the visitor inspects the grounds carefully, and with a questing heart, he will fail to read the strange stories told by the ancient stones used in the construction.... Look twice at that bit of petrified wood, for it is a remnant of a great redwood forest that once flourished in Central Oregon.... Examine that banded rock carefully: It is a bit of a thunderegg hatched in the lavas of old Oregon.... Feel the cool surface of those glass-like rocks: They are volcanic glasses melted in plutonic fires.... Trace the growth rings on that bit of petrified sequoia: They tell a story of weather born of oceans that swept over beaches now elevated into Oregon mountains. Enjoy the blooms of these rock gardens, but do not overlook the stories of the rocks."

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Folk art--Oregon--Photographs
  • Rock gardens--Oregon--Photographs
  • Vernacular architecture--Oregon--Photographs
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)
  • Corporate Names :
  • Petersen's Rock Garden (Redmond, Or.)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Redmond (Or.)--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photograph albums