I was searching for a random adventure, as I always am prone to do, and I stumbled across this little beauty of a place. I had read about it a few times over the years and finally my sweetie and I decided to make our little jaunt out there. It wasn’t too far from Cincinnati, and I have to be honest… when we first arrived I thought we were at the wrong place! If you decide to take a trip out here to check this awesome place out, then take note of a couple things.
When you drive up the street that Hartman is located on, you WILL think you are in the wrong place. You turn off the main drag onto a few smaller streets, and the GPS leads you to a house. Just a regular, ordinary house. My sweetie and I looked around pretty confused at first. We parked the car, got out and wandered to the side yard, and saw this:
We cautiously crept around looking to see if our being here was ok. When we looked on the other side of the house, we saw this sign to the left. Who can resist a pointy finger telling one where to go??
I can honestly say, I have never seen something like this in my life, at least not yet anyways… and I’ve seen some COOL stuff in my days. The winding sidewalk led us around to the back yard, and our mystical adventure began.
When you look around this amazing place, it is hard to believe one man did all of this as a hobby. His name was Harry George “Ben” Hartman, and whenever he found himself out of work, he turned to his rock garden to get him through. This place has an entire town tucked inside it’s privacy walls. My personal favorite, was the castle, but the other buildings ranging from the local stores in town, to epic giants such as the White House also grace the property. You call tell Ben, put a lot of thought into his project.
The one thing that really surprised me about this place is that Ben started with the pond. I think because of how the property is laid out, I just assumed that it would have been the castle.
Beauty abounds here not only because of these amazing rock creations, but also because of all the different plants. I think my fave was the floating lily pads in the pond. We were fortunate enough to get out here before the cooler weather came though and wiped out everything.
If you want to know more history about Hartman Rock Garden, then be sure to pick up a guide book and map located at the donation box. The map will tell you about each one of the buildings and characters that are displayed. It helps you to make sense of it all. Or, if you’re like we were and are feeling more daring, just look around and enjoy the mystery the place has to offer. It really is beautiful, and for a small donation of your choice it’s more than worth the drive.
Also, just for a tip, Yellow Springs and Young’s Dairy Farm is also super close by. Make a day of it!
Open 365 days per year.
Address: 1905 Russell Avenue, Springfield, Ohio
Cost: Free, but please consider leaving a small donation.