Miller's Park Sculptures
In 2012 and 2013, Kohler Foundation took on the preservation of Miller's Park in Lucas, Kansas.
Roy and Clara Miller created their park as a rest stop and recreation area along Kansas Highway 18, both for the citizens of Lucas and the public. They welcomed travelers, offered fresh water, eventually built cabins, and added playground equipment and picnic tables. Most importantly, they shared their small sculpture-filled park with visitors. They built miniature buildings for a tiny town and fashioned a rock garden of rocks and shells they gathered on their travels. During the 1920’s, it was a Lucas gathering spot.
Time passed, and the property was eventually sold in 1969 to settle the estate. The sculptures were moved to Hays, Kansas and became a tourist site known as Frontier Village. Initially a popular attraction, the effort faded and the sculptures were left to languish, but through the generosity and vision of Henry Schwaller IV, Miller's Park has returned to Lucas, Kansas. Kohler Foundation has been joined by a team of enthusiastic local volunteers, art conservators from Houston and Los Angeles, and preservation technicians to preserve the remaining forty-five sculptures. "Rock Hounds" from Oklahoma and Kansas helped to search out specialty rocks to replace materials lost over time. Miller's Park is a great example of the level of collaboration required to preserve outdoor art environments. Miller's Park will have a permanent location adjacent to the Garden of Eden in Lucas. As of November 2013, Kohler Foundation passed stewardship of Miller's Park to the Friends of S.P. Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden.