The Weird and Wonderful Temple of Tolerance

During Alumaplaooza we’ll lead a group to see the art installation/rock garden/eclectic museum/shrine/retreat that is “The Temple of Tolerance”.

As described by Roadside America, the grounds look like they “should be in an artist-hippie enclave like Sonora, Arizona, or Taos, New Mexico—not in the back yard of a suburban home in Wapakoneta, Ohio.”

Owner-operator-artist-gardener Jim Bowsher, the “Temple Master”, toiled 18 years to transform his residential backyard into the local wonder it is today.

Difficult to describe, you have to see it to believe it (and feel it). Rocks and stones are lovingly arranged and piled just so, Stonehenge-style, in a meticulously tended, peaceful green space. Climb the lookout atop the Temple itself. Explore the historic “Barrel House”. Inspect the Master’s special artifact stones (including a slab from a bank counter that John Dillenger vaulted over during a robbery, and a rock collected during Woodstock). Pay your respects at the Vietnam Memorial. “You will marvel at the vision and effort one human can put into something they love,” wrote an online reviewer.

A visit to The Temple has also been said to have curative powers, and visitors use the space to meditate, pray, and reflect. (What? You didn’t know that karma cleansing was part of the Alumapalooza admission fee?)